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Two Spitsbergen Whalers, from a coloured print in Blaeu's Atlas Major. 

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THE proper function of a modern preface, it has been 
said, is to save reviewers trouble. In the case of a 
volume containing some history of a country which never 
had any inhabitants, constructed out of scattered references 
in state papers and the miscellaneous records of industrial 
voyages, a preface of that kind may also be helpful to a 
reader, who either lacks the time or the inclination to make 
close acquaintance with the whole book. 

Let me then first appeal to reviewers and all readers 
alike henceforward to spell the name of the country 
correctly. Spitsbergen is the only correct spelling ; Spitz- 
bergen is a relatively modern blunder. The name is Dutch, 
not German. The second ' s ' asserts and commemorates 
the nationality of the discoverer. 

In publishing this volume I am at length fulfilling a 
pledge given nine years ago in the book describing my 
first Spitsbergen journey of 1896. The preliminary studies 
made for that and for my second journey in the far North 
provided me with a considerable amount of unpublished 
materials for Arctic History which it seemed proper to 
bring together in a form convenient for reference. The 
story of Spitsbergen exploration, like any other matter into 
which a student is led to make research, presently began to 

viii Preface 

prove attractive, so that I was led on to treat as matter 
for serious historical investigation what was begun as 
the by-play of an explorer's preparatory studies. 

It would have been easy to fashion the materials, 
here brought together, into a popular narrative of adven- 
ture. If the negotiations and the geographical questions 
had been omitted and the romantic elements of the story 
had been set in the weird and wonderful landscapes of 
the country, the general reader might have found the 
resulting volume more entertaining than the one now in his 
hands. But it occurred to me that by putting on record 
all the materials I have been able to gather together, I 
should rather facilitate than prevent the production of such 
a book. It even seems possible that some of our modern 
adventure-loving novelists may here find the materials 
for a pleasant romance. The scene of it might be placed 
in Smeerenburg in its great days, when women also spent 
their summers in that Arctic settlement in the pursuit of 
their avocations. Not impossibly, amongst the whalers 
who frequented Smeerenburg, there were some who had 
been on Barents' vessel of discovery. Thus a tale might 
be contrived, in which all the most romantic events could 
be strung together, from the days of the discovery down 
to those of Van der Brugge's dramatic wintering, including 
the fights and rivalries between English, Dutch, and French, 
as well as the disputes between the Londoners and the men 
of Hull. 

Failing the appearance of such a book, the general reader 
will find that, if he scans the narrative portions of the first 
ten or twelve chapters, and then turns to those dealing with 
the doings and sufferings of the Russian Trappers, his 

Preface ix 

thirst for tales of adventure will obtain some satisfaction. 
Pellham's account of the first English wintering in Spits- 
bergen may be commended as an admirable piece of 
literature, worthy of the times of Milton. 

Students of local history at Hull, Yarmouth, Bristol, 
York, and Whitby will find in my pages some matters 
that may be of interest to them. Hull in particular is 
closely connected with the early history of Spitsbergen 
exploration. The name of Thomas Marmaduke, a really 
great Arctic navigator, deserves to be remembered there 
with honour. 

Most of the more strictly historical parts of this book 
have been published from time to time in papers contri- 
buted to the Geographical Journal. They are reprinted 
here with the additions and corrections suggested by 
further research. I have to thank the Council of the 
Royal Geographical Society for permitting the use of the 
blocks for illustrations, especially for those reproducing rare 
old maps which they had photographed for me, as well as 
for contributing the type-setting of all the pages in small 
print at the end of the volume which were at one time 
intended to be published by the Society as an extra 

During the nine years over which my researches 
have been scattered, I have been enabled at different times 
to pursue them in Paris, Amsterdam, the Hague, Zaan- 
land, and elsewhere. The London Record Office was 
searched as carefully as my little leisure permitted, and 
many new facts were yielded by that exhaustless store- 
house. To those who aided me in my work I owe hearty 
thanks. Monsieur Charles Rabot in Paris again evinced 

x Preface 

the ready helpfulness he has so often shown before. At 
Amsterdam I was beholden to Jhr. B. W. F. van Riemsdijk, 
Director of the Rijks Museum, who put me on the track 
of several valuable pieces of information. At Zaandijk, 
Mr G. J. Honig, himself a descendant of Arctic navigators 
of the 1 7th century, also gave me valuable assistance, and 
I owe to him three of the most important illustrations in 
this book. To Dr Nathorst and Baron Gerard De Geer 
of Stockholm I am also indebted, as well as to the late 
Baron Nordenskiold. My obligations to Sir Clements 
R. Markham are recorded on the dedicatory page above. 
Mr James Lamont has earned my gratitude by permitting 
me to reproduce two illustrations from his most interesting 
book Yachting in the Arctic Seas (London, 1876), whilst 
I am under deep obligation to Captain A. Mostyn Field, 
R.N., F.R.S., Hydrographer to the Admiralty, for allowing 
me the use of a transfer from the Admiralty chart and 
permission to make necessary changes in the naming of 
various points, as explained in the concluding pages of 
this volume. Finally, I have for the third time to thank 
the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press for 
giving publicity to my work. 


Hornton House, Kensington, 
March, 1906. 



I. Introductory 

II. How Spitsbergen was discovered 

III. Walrus hunting and tentative expeditions 

IV. The first hunting expedition to Spitsbergen . 
V. The beginning of the Spitsbergen whale-fishery 

VI. The troubles in 1 613 

VII. The events of 1614 . 

VIII. The method of the Bay fishery 

IX. Troubles with the Dutch in 1617 

X. Troubles at Spitsbergen in 1618 
XI. Progress of the whaling industry at Spitsbergen 

XII. The final settlement of the Spitsbergen fishery 

XIII. The first wintering in Spitsbergen . 

XIV. The culmination of the Bay fishery . 
XV. Smeerenburg's culmination .... 

XVI. The decline of English whaling 

XVII. Whalers' adventures 

XVIII. Incidents of war and other events in Spitsbergen 

XIX. Russian trappers in Spitsbergen 

XX. Tschitschagof's expeditions .... 

XXI. National expeditions to Spitsbergen 

List of the principal voyages to Spitsbergen recorded from 1847 to 1900 
Bibliography of the history and geography of Spitsbergen 

The cartography of Spitsbergen 

Chronological list of maps of Spitsbergen 

History of Spitsbergen nomenclature before the nineteenth century . 
Index ........••••• 




1 1 














Two Spitsbergen Whalers, from a coloured print in Blaeu's 
Atlas Major ......... 

View from the Zeeusche Uytkyk, from Lamont's 'Yachting 


in the Arctic Seas : 

. to face page 76 

Ice-cliff at the end of a glacier in Recherche Bay, from a 
photograph by Mr C. T. Dent 

The Groenlandsche-Pakhuizen in the Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, 
from a print after a drawing by Wencke, published by 
' Het Zondagsblad van het Nieuus van den Dag,' 
no. 1905 

The Cookeries at Oostzanen, from a panel-painting by A. Van 
Salm in the Zaanland Museum at Zaandijk . 

Old Kees' Glissade, from P.P.v.S 

Whale-fishing, by Lieven Verschuyr. Rotterdam Museum of 
Antiquities ......... 

The English Whale-fishery in Bell Sound, from contemporary 
drawings to illustrate Mr Gray's description 

The Man under the Bear, from a painting by Tetroe in the 
Zaanland Museum at Zaandijk ..... 

A Whaler in the ice-pack, from a painting by Abraham Hondius 
in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge .... 

The Russian Huts in Keilhau Bay, from Lamont's 'Yachting 
in the Arctic Seas ' 










Spitsbergen as seen by Barents and Hudson . 

Spitsbergen from Barents' chart (1598) .... 

Spitsbergen from Hondius' chart (161 1) .... 

John Daniel's chart of Spitsbergen (1612) 

MS. map of Spitsbergen made in 1614, and signed 'Joris 
Carolus Stierman Caertschryver tot Enkhuizen ' . 

Vrolicq's map of 1634 

Chart of Spitsbergen, from Joris Carolus' ' Nieuw Vermeerde 
Licht' of 1634 

The Muscovy Company's map of Spitsbergen (1625) 
Doncker's map of Mauritius Bay (1655) . 
Blaeu's map of Spitsbergen, mainly after Edge (c. 1662) 
Paskaert van Spitsbergen met Alle zijn Zeecusten zoo vel tot 
noch toe Bekent is, bij Hendrick Doncker (1663) . 

Admiralty Chart . 

Nieuwe afteekening van het Eyland Spits-Bergen . 

to face page 14 




O "? ■*» 


in the cover 



In the following chapters I propose to relate the story 
of the succession of events recorded to have happened in 
and on the coasts of Spitsbergen since its discovery in 1596. 
They will be found more numerous, more varied, and often 
more dramatic than the reader may be prepared to expect. 
Spitsbergen has never been an inhabited country, and there- 
fore, in a sense, can have no true history of its own, but 
for a portion of every year since early in the 17th century 
it has been the scene of various industries, which have 
attracted in their turn to its inhospitable though beautiful 
shores innumerable visitors. It is their fortunes, purposes, 
and adventures that are to be considered. They were of 
many nations and came up for many reasons. It will not 
be possible entirely to exclude from notice the home cir- 
cumstances that led them to set forth, nor the international 
rivalries and collisions that resulted from their activity ; 
but the endeavour will be made to reduce these extraneous 
matters to a minimum and to confine attention as closely 
as may be to what actually took place in and about 
Spitsbergen itself. 

It is almost impossible to believe that, before 1596, 
no human being ever set eyes on Spitsbergen. Such 
bold navigators as discovered Iceland and Greenland are 
not unlikely to have ventured northward; if they did 
so venture and came to the Arctic archipelago, some 300 
miles north of the North Cape, they must have perceived 
that the character of the land was such as to be entirely 

c. CH. 1. 1 

2 The OtJier IVorld 

valueless to them, and they doubtless brought home such 
an account of it as would be merged swiftly in myth and 
fable. Our remote forefathers regarded the universe as 
consisting of the world in which men lived and the Other 
World, the abode of superhuman beings. The edge of 
habitable country was the border of this Other World, 
whereof all manner of strange tales were told and partly 
believed. Ranges of snowy mountains, for instance, were, 
and to backward mountain peoples still are, the dwelling- 
place of fairies, demons, ghosts, and what-not. Devils 
have only recently been driven from the Matterhorn ; 
perhaps some still linger there. In the Hindu Kush all 
manner of strange fairies still abide above the snow-line. 
Similar traditions are found all over the globe. The Other 
World stands very near to them in the minds of simple folk 
and is a very material place. 

The Northern Ocean and whatever lands there might be 
within it belonged to this Other World, which some people 
thought of as the home of the dead. It was an ocean, 
sluggish, stagnant, and hard for rowers to move, which 
even the winds could not raise, and where the light of the 
setting sun lingers on till dawn, quenching the light of the 
stars ; and the sound of the sun's rising could be heard, 
and the forms of the horses that drew his chariot and the 
glory about his head could be seen. " Only thus far," says 
Tacitus, "does the world extend." Homer, too, sang of 
the isle Aeaean, " where is the dwelling-place of Dawn and 
her dancing-grounds, and the land of sun-rising " ; and he 
told of the land of the Cimmerians "shrouded in fog and 
cloud, where the shining sun never looks down with his rays, 
neither when he climbs the starry heaven nor when he 
returns earthward from on high, but deadly night is spread 
over wretched men." 

Like myths were sung by the Norsemen in early Sagas, 
not without increase of detail as the centuries advanced. 
Some believed there were lands in the far north joining 
Siberia to Greenland by unbroken country. Two brothers 
of the Venetian family of the Zeni were said to have made, 
in 1387, a voyage to Iceland and Greenland. They pre- 
tended to have brought home with them a remarkable 
chart, which is believed to represent the knowledge of 

Spitsbergen Legends 3 

those regions attained by Scandinavian travellers 1 . On this 
chart Engroneland stretches very far to the east, and this 
was why both Barents and Hudson, not knowing that 
Spitsbergen was an island, believed it to be a part of 
Greenland, and perhaps also connected with Novaja Zemlja. 
In Gerardus Mercator's map of 1538 " Groelandia " is 
represented as a peninsula depending from a polar con- 
tinent, continuous with Asia, but later on this land area 
was cut up by narrow sounds or rivers. Thus, on Mercator's 
later maps, four great streams start from an imaginary 
Rtipes nigra et altissima at the pole and flow to the four 
points of the compass, dividing the polar land into quarters. 
According to the legend on the map, the quarter north of 
Scandinavia was inhabited by " Pygmies, people with long 
feet, and Screlingers." 

The Russian trappers who visited Spitsbergen in the 
1 8th and 19th centuries preserved a number of legends 
whereof but few have been written down. It was their 
custom on arrival at the south coast, near a rocky cliff 
(probably on Edge Island) said to present a striking- 
resemblance to a man's profile, to land on the shore and 
kill a male reindeer, whose body they cast on to this strange 
cliff. This was the story they used to tell in explanation of 
their act. 

" There once lived a Norwegian prince who, weary of 
governing and of honours, betook himself to dark Spits- 
bergen, so as to occupy himself there, in solitude, with 
magic and the black arts. He took with him, on his ship, 
a hundred pair of reindeer, and a beautiful maiden of 
15 years whom he thought to wed. The Spirit of the 
Mountain, whom the trappers named ' The Spitsbergen 
Dog,' tracked down with his dog's nose the beautiful 
maiden in the rock-palace of the prince, and determined 
to carry her off. He knew that she walked out in the 
evening with her lover, to collect various mosses and herbs, 
which, doubtless, the latter used in his magical experiments. 
He also knew the prince to be a skilful magician, who 
would not allow him to carry off the maiden before his very 
eyes. So this Spitsbergen dog resorted to cunning. He 

1 The chart and the account of the journey were published at Venice in 1558, 
and attracted great attention. 

CH. 1. 1 — 2 

4 Spitsbergen Legends 

transformed himself into a white bear, and lay on an ice 
floe, awaiting the hour when the maiden should come down 
to the seashore to search for mussels and stones. He did 
not have to lie in wait long for his prey. The unsuspecting 
maiden descended the mountain which led to the sea, and 
the bear seized her, and carried her, unharmed, to one of 
the most distant caves of the island. 

" The Norwegian prince, filled with wrath at the loss 
of the only living thing that was dear to him, and despairing 
of finding his beloved one by natural means, consulted his 
books of magic, and summoned to his aid obedient spirits, 
to reveal to him the prison-house of the unfortunate maiden. 
But all that he could learn was, that the maiden was shut 
up in a mountain on the south coast of the island, the out- 
line of which was like the profile of a man. But the 
south coast was extensive — where should he find such a 
mountain ? 

" The inconsolable prince wandered about under the 
rocky cliffs, and filled the island with his lamentations. 
One summer's evening, as the snow-covered summits of 
the mountains were illumined by the rays of the setting sun 1 , 
he espied, in a cleft of the rocks, a human figure. He 
hurried quickly forward, believing that he should soon 
discover the place of flight of his lost one, and had only 
to stretch out his hand to her, when suddenly she jumped 
like a chamois on to the southern projection of the cliff. 
He followed, but she fled before him, until at last she 
halted on one of the mountains. The prince rushed after 
her, and wanted to seize her, when before him, instead of 
the maiden, there stood a male reindeer, which looked at 
him, and beat his horns against the rocks. The prince 
magician understood matters now. He looked up to the 
summit of the mountain, and recognised plainly upon it 
the form of a man's profile. He stood long at the foot 
of the mountain, sighing, until a stone from the rocks fell, 
and crushed him to death. Since that time, the trappers 
have called this rock ' the hatless lout's head,' but out of 
gratitude for the reindeer which the prince had brought to 
the island, they kill, every time they set foot in Spitsbergen, 

1 This shows that the legend must have arisen south of the Arctic Circle. 

JVays to the Indies 5 

a male of these animals, as an expiatory sacrifice, as it were, 
with which to propitiate the Spitsbergen dog, and restrain 
him from malicious tricks." 

Another legend was told by the Russian trappers to 
account for the presence of reindeer in Spitsbergen. 

" Long ago, the son of a Norwegian king, wishing to 
become possessed of the island, sent thither several ships, 
whose crews were to colonise this extensive, but wild and 
unpeopled, land. On these ships, the first reindeer were 
brought to Spitsbergen. The colonists perished one after 
the other, being unable to resist the tendency to sleep 
which scurvy infallibly occasions. Only eight men survived, 
and these made superhuman efforts to return home, and 
landed at Tromsoe, where they made known to their prince 
the failure of their undertaking. From that time, no one 
has attempted to settle in Spitsbergen." 

If there had been an efficient quartermaster-general 
for the fourth Crusade perhaps Spitsbergen would not have 
been discovered in 1596. Owing to inefficient organisation 
that crusading force came under the control of Venice 
and was by her directed against Constantinople instead of 
the Saracens. A fatal blow was thus dealt, not to the 
Crescent but to Europe's chief bulwark against Islam. The 
Eastern Empire was undermined and its overthrow by the 
Turks two centuries later was the direct result. The 
Ottoman conquest of Constantinople split asunder the 
ancient trade-routes between east and west, and led to 
the era of exploration. New ways to the Indies had to be 
found. Vasco da Gama's discovery of the route round the 
Cape was the solution of the problem set by the fall of 

But the Portuguese had no intention of sharing with the 
whole western world the potentiality of wealth which they 
thus obtained. They made a monopoly of their oriental 
trade and closed it for a time against all competitors. 
Only by trading with Portugal could foreigners trade with 
the east. Hence arose in other and especially in northern 
countries the stronq- desire to find some alternative route to 
India and Cathay. 

In 1497 the Cabots, sailing from England in search of 
a sea-route westward to China, blundered up against and 

CH. I. 

6 Willoughby s Expedition 

thus discovered the North American continent. Next year 
Sebastian Cabot sailed again, not to explore the obstructive 
land but to find a way past it to the north. His example 
was frequently followed during the 16th century, so that 
the north-west passage became famous as a goal of dis- 
covery. After many years spent in the service of Spain,. 
Sebastian Cabot in 1548 again entered English employ. 
Up to that time the commerce of England had been 
controlled by the Hanseatic League, whose policy it was 
to prevent any direct trade between Europe and the north, 
save that which came through the recognised markets. It 
was owing to this prohibition, which they were able to 
enforce, that so little was known in the rest of the world 
about Scandinavian discoveries in the northern seas. It 
was Sebastian Cabot who incited the merchants of London 
to shake off this Hanseatic bondage and to push forward 
boldly for a share in the growing commerce of the world. 
The north-west passage had not been discovered ; he now 
suggested that an effort should be made to find a way by 
the north-east, above Norway and Asia, to China. 

At Cabot's instigation the Company of Merchant 
Adventurers was founded and, in 1553, three ships, under 
the command of Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard 
Chancellor, were sent forth by them to search for the 
north-east passage. Willoughby discovered Novaja Zemlja 
and attempted to winter in Lapland but perished together 
with the crews of two of the ships. Chancellor, more for- 
tunate, found the White Sea and penetrated to somewhere 
near the mouth of the Dwina, whence he travelled overland 
to Moscow, obtained from the Tsar a grant of trading 
privileges for his Company, and returned to England. The 
north-east passage was not revealed, but the result of 
this journey was to inaugurate trade between England and 
the White Sea, which proved very profitable to London 

The instructions to Willoughby and Chancellor, drawn 
up by Sebastian Cabot, contain the following important 
passage 1 : 

" Item, that the marchants and other skilful persons in writing shall daily 
write, describe, and put in memoire the navigation of every day and night, with 

1 Hakluyt I. p. 226. 

The Muscovy Company 7 

the points and observations of the lands, tides, elements, altitude of the sunne, 
course of the moon and starres, and the same so noted by the order of the 
master and pilot of every ship to be put in writing, the captains general! 
assembling the masters together once every week (if winde and weather shall 
serve) to conferse all the observations and notes of the said ships, to the intent 
it may appear wherein the notes do agree, and wherein they dissent, and upon 
good debatement, deliberation, and conclusion determined, to put the same into 
a common ledger, to remain as record for the company." 

This was the origin of the log-book which thenceforward 
became customary amongst English and Dutch navigators. 

The log-books of navigators from the time of Willoughby 
are our authorities for the history of discovery. Patriots 
such as Hakluyt and Purchas made it their business to 
obtain as many of these records as they could and to print 
them for the public benefit. Hakluyt's work, says Sir 
Clements Markham, "gave a stimulus to colonial and to 
maritime enterprise, and it inspired our literature. Shake- 
speare owed much to Hakluyt's Principal Navigations : 
Milton owed much more 1 ." 

In 1555 the "Merchant Adventurers" obtained a 
charter of incorporation and in 1566 an Act of Parliament, 
in which they are styled " the Fellowship of English 
Merchants for the Discovery of New Trades," but they 
are better known as the Muscovy or Russia Company, 
under which title we shall presently hear a good deal about 
them. In 1556 they sent Stephen Burrough, who had 
been master of Chancellor's ship, to search again for the 
north-east passage. He forced his way into the Kara 
Sea, found it full of ice, and returned. Attempts to 
establish an overland trade-route from North Russia to 
China having failed, the Pet and Jackman Expedition was 
sent out in 1580. It was equally unsuccessful in crossing 
the Kara Sea, but it appears that in 1584 another vessel sent 
by the Russia Company actually sailed to the mouth of the 
Obi, where she was shipwrecked and her crew were 
murdered by the Samo-yeds. 

The Muscovy Company's trade with St Nicholas and 
the White Sea prospered and gave employment to ten or 
twelve ships yearly 2 . 

1 Address on the Jubilee of the Hakluyt Society, Geog. Journal, Feb. 1897, 
p. 172. 

2 See Hamel, Tradesca?it der Aeltere, 161 8, in Russland (St Petersburg 
Academy, Rec. des Actes, 1847, p. 85). 

CH. I. 

8 Trade with Russia 

In a letter of 20th November, 1595, Francis Cherry, 
writing to Sir Robert Cecil, whose father was a member of 
the original Company before its reconstitution, speaks of 
himself as " having been brought up a long time in Russia, 
chiefly in the Emperor's Court, and by experience learned 
the depth of the trade." He goes on to mention the chief 
goods imported, to wit "tallow, wax, flax, train-oil, buff- 
hides, cowhides, cordage, and hemp." He lays special 
emphasis on the cordage, a trade which he has greatly 
developed, very important to the Queen's navy. " The 
most adventure is borne by himself and other young men, 
who do hazard largely, and in a manner depend and lay 
thereon all our substance 1 ." 

Next year we find Cherry and the Muscovy Merchants 
petitioning the Queen for ,£9,254. 8s. od. payment due 
to them for cordage (cables, cabletts, and cable yarn) 
imported by them from Russia and taken for the Navy. 
They refer to cordage similarly supplied the previous year 
and " cordage bespoken next year 2 ." Two more letters press 
for this money. Another of 8th May, 1597, proposes to 
import 3,000 quarters of wheat which have been contracted 
for with the Emperor of Russia. In November Cherry 
demands payment of ,£13,922. 155-. 2d. for the former and 
another lot of cordage, payment for which is 22 months 
overdue! He says that he has orders for Russian cordage 
from the King of Spain and the Earl of Nottingham. 
" Before I took upon me the trade to Russia," he writes 
(5th December, 1597), "there never came above ,£2,000 
worth of cordage a year, and now for ,£14,000 or 
,£15,000 yearly, and not the like cordage in Europe to 
be had." 

A trade that could stand such dilatory payments must 
have been very profitable. In the earliest years of the 
Company, rivals were stimulated to interlope into the 
monopoly. English interlopers from the north country 
were the first, for in those days the Government was always 
liable to give advantages to London men, before the folks' 
of Hull or Yarmouth had a chance. Then the Dutch put 
in their oar. They began to interlope in 1565, when an 

1 Historical MSS., Calendar of the Hatfield House MSS. pt. v. p. 462. 

2 Hatfield MSS. VI. p. 511 et seq. 

Dutch Enterprise 9 

Enkhuizen ship founded a rival trading station at Kola on 
the White Sea. Dutch activity in the north was doubtless 
quickened by the King of Spain's prohibition (in 1584) of 
trade between the Netherlands and Portugal. At this 
time, in fact, the foundation was laid of that maritime 
rivalry between Dutch and English, which endured for two 
centuries and whose first ill-tempered manifestation occurred 
in the waters of Spitsbergen. 

Throughout the Middle Ages, and especially in the 
fifteenth century, Flanders and its neighbourhood had been 
the head-quarters of North European commerce and manu- 
facture. The weavers of Bruges and Ghent were masters 
of the magic which transmuted the contents of the English 
Woolsack into Golden Fleeces. The land trade-route 
from Venice led to Antwerp, where met the two streams 
of commerce from north and south. Thus population and 
civilization waxed in this favoured region. The religious 
troubles of the sixteenth century ruined Flemish trade. 
The Spanish Fury destroyed Antwerp. All the best and 
most active merchants and craftsmen emigrated into 
Holland, and created there such pressure of energy that 
new outlets for it had to be found. Among the emigrants 
was Balthasar Moucheron, who settled at Middelburg in 
Zealand, and is almost to be regarded as the father of 
Dutch commerce. His ships were the first North Cape 
interlopers. He was chief supporter of Barents' three 
famous expeditions, which Gerrit De Veer described. 

Oliver Brunei, a native of Brussels, was another reli- 
gious refugee. He was the first to make, on behalf of 
Holland, personal investigations on the spot into the 
conditions and requirements of the Russian trade. The 
Dutch trading establishment was in consequence moved to 
a harbour in the neighbourhood of St Michael's monastery, 
and the town of Archangel was founded and rapidly 
increased, so that the English were obliged to move their 
quarters to the same place. 

Now the Dutch in their turn desired to find the north- 
east passage. In 1584 Moucheron sent Brunei on the quest, 
but he failed to enter the Kara Sea and his ship was 
wrecked. In 1594 a more important expedition was set 
forth by Moucheron's initiative. It consisted of three 

ch. 1. 

io Barents Voyages 

ships and a fishing-boat, whereof one, the Mercury, was 
owned in Amsterdam and was commanded by William 
Barents. Another, belonging to Enkhuizen, and likewise 
named the Mercury, carried, as supercargo, the writer 
Van Linschoten. The Amsterdam ship was intended to 
sail round the north of Novaja Zemlja, the others were 
to sail south. By good luck Barents easily reached 
Cape Nassau, but was unable to advance beyond the 
Orange Islands, near the extreme north point of Novaja 
Zemlja. This is the first voyage described in the book 
of Gerrit De Veer. Linschoten wrote a separate account 1 . 

In the following year, 1595, a fleet of seven well- 
equipped vessels was sent out by the same adventurers, 
with others joined to them, which, it was hoped, would 
reach China and establish a trade with that country. Of 
this fleet Barents was chief pilot, whilst Linschoten and 
another went as chief commissioners on behalf of the Dutch 
government. The vessels reached Novaja Zemlja, but 
the Kara Sea was so full of ice that they could not cross it, 
so they eventually returned to Holland. 

It appears that on every ship a detailed journal was 
kept "separately and without communication with the 
others." Linschoten's account was published with that 
of the previous expedition. A separate account by Gerrit 
De Veer forms the second part of his well-known book. 

The failure of this enterprise sufficed to prevent the 
Government from assisting to set forth any expedition 
in 1596. But the geographer Plantius and Barents still 
maintained that a way to the east might be found round 
the north of Novaja Zemlja. The confidence was in- 
fectious. Merchants came forward with funds yet once 
more, and the famous expedition of Barents, Heemskerk, 
and Rijp was sent out, which discovered Spitsbergen and 
wintered for the first time on record in any very high 

1 Voyagie ofte Schipvaert van Ian Hvyghen van Linschoten van by Noorden 

om langes A r oorwegen, de Noortcaep etc.... tot voorby de Revier Oby 

Anno 1594 ende 1595. Ghedruct tot Franeker by Gerard Ketel, 1601. Fol. It 
was reprinted at Amsterdam in 1624, not to mention translations, later editions, 
abstracts, etc. 



On the 18th of May, 1596, two Dutch ships sailed from 
Vlieland near Amsterdam on a voyage destined to be 
famous in the annals of adventure and discovery 1 . In one ship 
Willem Barendszoon 2 was chief pilot; the captain was Jacob 
Heemskerke Hendickszoon, proudly described on his monu- 
ment as "the man who ever steered his way through ice 
and iron." In the other, Jan Corneliszoon Rijp of Enk- 
huizen was captain and supercargo, Arend Martenszoon of 
Amsterdam pilot. The chief honour of the voyage has 
always been given to Barents, but Heemskerk should 
not be forgotten, for he was a great sailor. He led the 
Dutch fleet to victory at the Battle of Gibraltar in 1607, 
where he met his death. His monument stands by one of 
the central pillars of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. On 
the 9th of June the two ships made Bear Island, and the 
following day eight men landed from each ship, Barents 
and Rijp being of the number. Next day again "going on 
land, wee found great store of sea-mewes egges upon the 
shoare, and in that island wee were in great danger of our 
lives : for that going up a great hill of snowe, when wee 
should come down againe, we thought wee should all have 
broken our neckes, it was so steep but wee sate upon the 
snowe [ons naers) and slidde downe, which was very 

1 The authorities for this voyage are an extract from Barents' own log, 
printed in Hessel Gerrits' Histoire chi pays nomme Spitsberghe, translated in the 
Hakluyt Society's Three Voyages of W. Barents (1867), p. xvii., and De Veer's 
Journal of t ie voyage, translated in the same book, p. 70 ; see also De Jonge's 
Opkomst, et~. 1. pp. 23-26, and S. Muller's Geschiedenis der Noordsche Com- 
pagnie, p. 43 note. The course of the ships is marked on Barents' own chart, 
which was engraved in 1598. 

2 The nan, t is usually written Barents in English books. 

CH. 11. 

12 Bear Island [June 

dangerous for us to breake both our armes and legges, 
for that at the foote of the hill there was many rockes, 
which wee were likely to have fallen upon, yet by Gods 
help wee got safely down againe. Meane time Willem 
Barendsz sate in the boate, and sawe us slide downe, and 
was in greater feare than wee to behold us in that 

"The 1 2th of June in the morning, wee saw a white 
beare, which wee rowed after with our boate, thinking to 
cast a roape about her necke ; but when we were neare her, 
shee was so great that wee durst not doe it, but rowed 
backe again to our shippe to fetch more men and our 
armes, and so made to her againe with muskets, hargu- 
bushes, halbertes, and hatchets, John Cornellysons men 
comming also with their boate to helpe us. And so being 
well furnished of men and weapons, wee rowed with both 
our boates unto the beare, and fought with her while foure 
glasses were runne out (two hours), for our weapons could 
doe her little hurt ; and amongst the rest of the blowes 
that we gave her, one of our men stroke her into the backe 
with an axe, which stucke fast in her backe, and yet she 
swomme away with it ; but wee rowed after her, and at 
last wee cut her head in sunder with an axe, wherewith she 
dyed ; and then we brought her into John Cornelysons 
shippe, where wee fleaed her, and found her skinne to be 
twelve foote long : which done, wee eate some of her flesh ; 
but wee brookt it not well. This island wee called the 
Beare Island." 

They sailed from Bear Island on the 1 3th in a northerly 
direction. At noon on the 14th they fancied they could 
see land to the north but were not certain. At noon next 
day they were in lat. J&° 15' N. ; that is to say, off the 
mouth of Ice Sound but probably some way out to sea. 
On the 16th they met the ice-pack north of Spitsbergen 
and sailed along it eastwards for 44 miles (N.E. and S.E.). 
At noon on June 17th, in lat. 8o° ic/ steering S.S.W. 
they came in sight of land which was visible for about 
32 to 36 miles trending almost from west to "It 
was high land and entirely covered with snow." Undoubt- 
edly the north coast of Spitsbergen between Hakluyt's 
Headland and the mouth of Liefde Bay was what they 

1596] Spitsbergen discovered 13 

saw and this was the memorable day of the island's dis- 
covery, though De Veer makes the 19th the date of this 
event. On the iSth they were in lat. 8o° N. They sailed 
through ice westwards alonsf the land till noon on the 20th. 
On the 19th they were in lat. 79° 49' according to De 
Veer. At noon on the 20th the western point of the land 
lay S.S.W. 20 miles distant. They sailed towards it and 
''came close to a large bay (Red Bay) which extended into 
the land towards the south." They made another attempt 
to get away to the north-west but were driven back by the 
ice and so, late on the 21st, both ships came to anchor at 
the mouth of Fair Haven. "At the east point of the 
mouth," says Barents, "was a rock, which was moreover 
split, a very good landmark" ; he obviously refers to Cloven 
Cliff. " There was also a small island or rock, about \\ 
(? miles) from that eastern one. On the west point also, 
was a rock, very near." It would therefore appear that he 
anchored between Cloven Cliff and Vogelsang. Here, or 
hereabouts, in lat. 79° 5c/ Barents set up a post with the 
arms of the Dutch upon it. The post remained standing- 
till 161 2 when the English carried it away 1 . 

Next day they "took in ballast of 7 boatsful of stones, 
thus much because our ship was little ballasted." A great 
fight with a bear followed and then they explored Fair 
Haven with a boat and found the Norway Islands and 
several good anchorages. On one island, where they landed, 
they " found many red geese-egges, which we saw sitting 
upon their nests, and drave them from them, and they flying 
away cryed ' red, red, red ' : and as they sate we killed 
one goose dead with a stone, which we drest and eate, and 

at least 60 egges, that we tooke with us aboard the shippe 

These were Rotgansen (Bernacle Geese), such as come into 
Holland about Weiringen (near the Texel), and every 
yeere are there taken in abundance, but till this time it was 
never knowne where they hatched their egges ; so that 
some men have taken upon them to write that they grow 
upon trees in Scotland that hang over the water, and such 
egges as fall from them downe into the water become yong 
geese and swimme away ; but those that fall upon the land 

1 The fact is mentioned in a resolution of the States General, 16 April, 1615. 
CH. 11. 

14 Spitsbergen named [June 

burst in sunder and come to nothing : but this is now found 
to be contrary, and it is not to be wondered at that no man 
could tell where they breed their egges, for no man that 
ever we knew had ever beene under 80 degrees." 

Next day, the 23rd, the weather being very clear, they 
went out of the bay and rounded Hakluyt's Headland " to 
seek how far the coast could extend itself." They "could 
not perceive the end of the land, which extended itself 
S. ^ E., 28 miles, as far as a high and mountainous cape 
[Knotty Point?], which looked as if it were an island." 
They returned and cast anchor in the same place and at 
midnight found by observation that they were in lat. 
79 42', which is the latitude of Danes Island 1 . 

On the 24th they sailed southward down the west coast 
or wall of the island, as De Veer well calls it. " The land," 
says Barents, "was for the greatest part broken, rather 
high, and consisted only of mountains and pointed hills ; 
for which reason we gave it the name of 'Spitsbergen 2 ." 
Captain Rijp, giving evidence before the magistrates of 
Delft, said, "We gave to that land the name of Spitsbergen, 
for the great and high points that were on it." They did 
not however conceive it to be an island but only part of 
Greenland, as De Veer expressly states. 

On the 25th they entered and cast anchor in a bay, 
which must have been Magdalena Bay, for it was 40 miles 
north of Vogelhoek. They rowed up the bay, on the 
south side of which was a low cape, the English burying- 
ground of later days, with a cove behind it " having shelter 
from all winds," and "a little creek like a harbour." They 
landed and found two walrus' tusks " that waighed sixe 
pound," and many smaller tusks, so they named the inlet 
Tusk Bay. On this occasion they appear to have taken 
formal possession of the land for Holland and to have 
deposited among some rocks a record of their visit enclosed 
in a box 3 . 

On the 26th they sailed into the north end of Foreland 
Sound, but found that it was blocked at some distance in by 

1 79 42', says De Veer, who gives the elements of the calculation. Barents' 
log says 79° 24', but this is doubtless a misprint. 

2 Not Spitzbergen, as it is commonly but incorrectly spelt. The name is 
Dutch, from Spits, "a point." 

3 See the affidavits printed by Muller, Gesch. der N. Co. p. 362. 

1596] Bear Island a gam 15 

the banks afterwards called " the Barr." There was ice 
on the shallows so they were forced to turn back, for which 
reason they called the sound Keerwyck 1 . On Barents' 
map this bank is marked as an isthmus joining the Fore- 
land to the mainland, but from his log it is evident that he 
knew there was water over the bank. The next day was 
calm, but on the 28th they emerged again from the sound 
and rounded the north end of the Foreland to which they 
gave the name Vogelhoek, from the great number of 
birds about, which flew against the sails. This day they 
sailed southward along the west coast of the Foreland, 
"which was very mountainous and sharp with a beautiful 
shore." At noon the latitude was observed to be 7 8° 20'. 
Later they passed the mouth of Ice Sound, "a large bay, 
which extended itself in the land E.N.E., and was on both 
sides high and mountainous " ; afterwards they saw Bell 
Sound, "in which was much ice under the land." These 
are the bays named Grooten Inwyck, and Inwyck on 
Barents' chart. They continued southward along the land 
till at noon on the 29th they were in lat. 76 50' N. The 
ice now drove them out to sea. At noon on the 30th they 
were in lat. 70 N. and on the 1st of July they sighted Bear 
Island once more. 

It is evident that between Barents and Rijp there had 
been frequent differences of opinion as to the course to be 
steered. Rijp was always for going further west, Barents 
hankered after the east. Their differences now culminated, 
and they decided to separate and go their own ways. 
Barents sailed to Novaja Zemlja, where, after sailing up 
the west coast and rounding the north-east point, he was 
shut in by ice at Ice Haven on the 27th of August and 
forced to winter. On the 30th the ship was nipped in the 
ice. "Whereby all that was about and in it began to 
crack, so that it seemed to burst in a 100 peeces, which 
was most fearfull both to see and heare, and made all the 
haire of our heads to rise upright with feare." They now 
began carrying things ashore, where they set up a tent, 
and presently, having found much drift-wood, determined 

1 See A. Cz. Herman's affidavit of 1630, printed in Mailer's Geschiedenis der 
N. Co. p. 363. 

CH. II. 

1 6 Barents wintering [1596 

to build a hut. The carpenter died on September 23rd, 
leaving them sixteen in number, whereof some were always 
sick. By the end of October the house was finished and 
they had moved into it. 

During the winter only one man died, though many 
suffered from scurvy, but the fresh meat they secured by 
trapping foxes saved them. When daylight returned they 
"made (3 April) a staff to plaie at Colfe 1 , thereby to stretch 
our jointes"; and it is again recorded (May 15) that they 
went out "to exercise their bodies with running, walking, 
playing at colfe and other exercises, thereby to stirre their 
ioynts and make them nymble." They had many contests 
with bears, and once, like so many other early arctic travellers, 
they ate a bear's liver which made them all sick so that 
their skins peeled off. All through the month of May they 
waited, hoping to be able to bring their ship away, but it 
was not possible ; so they made preparations for leaving in 
two open boats, and Barents, who was very ill with scurvy 
wrote a letter, which he put into a bandoleer and hanged up 
in the chimney, stating briefly the nature of their doings and 
sufferings in that olace. 

At length, on the 13th of June, they drew Barents and 
another very sick man to the shore and embarked in the 
two open boats, 15 men in all. They rowed round the N.E. 
point of Novaja Zemlja and began making their way with 
great difficulty down the west coast. On the 20th, near 
Cape Comfort (E. of Cape Nassau), " Claes Andriezoon 
began to be extreme sick, whereby we perceived that he 
would not live long, and the chief boateson came into our 
scute and told us in what case he was, and that he could 
not long continue alive ; whereupon Willem Barents spake 
and said, ' Methinks with mee too it will not last long ' ; 
and yet we did not judge Willem Barents to be so sicke, 
for we sat talking one with the other, and spake of many 
things, and Willem Barents looked at my little chart, 

1 It may interest golfers to be reminded that many representations of their 
game exist in works of art by Dutch painters of the 17th century. I remember 
two, both dated 1654. One is a drawing of golf-players by Jan van de Capelle, 
in a sketch-book (which also contains drawings by Rembrandt and other con- 
temporary artists), which belonged to Madame Kneppelhout in 1894. The other 
is an etching by Rembrandt (b. 125), representing the sport of " Kolef." The 
game is depicted in countless paintings of the same period. 

1597] Death of Barents 17 

which I had made touching our voiage and we had some 
discussion about it ; at last he laid away the card and spake 
unto me, saying, ' Gerrit, give me some drinke ' ; and he 
had no sooner drunke but he was taken with so sodain 
a qualm, that he turned his eies in his head and died 
presently, and we had no time to call the maister out of the 
other scute to speak unto him ; and so he died before Claes 
Andriesz, who died shortly after him. The death of Willem 
Barents put us in no small discomfort, as being the chiefe 
guide and onely pilot on whom we reposed our selves ; but 
we could not strive against God, and therefore we must of 
force be content." Thus died the discoverer of Spitsbergen, 
and leader of the first polar expedition that wintered so far 
north. A third man died a few days later. 

With incredible toil the weak survivors, all more or less 
scurvy-stricken, laboured through the ice, till the 19th, 
when they came into open water near Cross Island. Sailing 
now more quickly southward they met two Russian Lodyas 
on the 28th and obtained a little relief from them. Shortly 
afterwards they found scurvy-grass, which did them all 
incredible good, but the scurvy was not entirely cured till 
much later. Sailing straight across the sea they reached 
the mouth of the Petchora on August 4th. On Septem- 
ber 2nd, after voyaging 1,600 miles in their open boats and 
undergoing innumerable hardships, being often brought to 
the verge of starvation, they joined three Dutch ships at 
Kola on the White Sea, whereof, by a strange chance, one 
was under command of the selfsame Jan Cornelisz. Rijp 
from whom they had parted thirteen months before at Bear 

Of Rijp's doings, after parting from Barents, we 
possess, unfortunately, the most meagre accounts. Hessel 
Gerrits in his Histoire du pays nomme' Spitsberghe only 
says, " Rijp again set sail {i.e. from Bear Island) towards 
the north, and came after marvellous accidents from ice and 
winds, to the spot where they had anchored for the first 
time in 8o° {i.e. to Fair Haven). He had also been up 
again to Vogelhoek, and he returned from thence with the 
intention of rejoining Barents." Pontanus in his History 
of Amsterdam says (p. 168) "that Rijp pretended that they 
ought to retrace their steps till 8o°." Rijp himself in his 

c. CH. II. 

1 8 Rijfts Doings [1597 

affidavit only says that "they returned to the same place 
where they had been at first," and that, from Bear Island, 
they " took their course to the north round " Spitsbergen. 
There is every reason to believe that they merely retraced 
their former course and made no new discoveries, the ice- 
pack near Fair Haven keeping them back. If any dis- 
coveries of importance had been made they would assuredly 
have been included in the chart of 1598, whereas nothing is 
there indicated and Rijp's returning ship is merely depicted 
in the neighbourhood of the Faroe Islands. De Veer says 
that Rijp left them to " saile unto 80 degrees againe ; for 
hee was of opinion that there he should finde a passage 
through, on the east-side of the land that lay under 
80 degrees " — that is to say that he did not intend to 
explore eastward till he had reached Fair Haven. 

From Kola, Rijp carried the twelve survivors safely 
home to Holland. They entered the Maas on the 29th of 
October, rowed to Delft, then to the Hague, and from 
thence to Haarlem, "and upon the 1st of November about 
noone got to Amsterdam, in the same clothes that we ware 
in Nova Zembla, with our caps furd with white foxes skins. 
...Many men woundred to see us, as having estemed us 
long before that to have bin dead and rotten. The newes 
thereof being spread abroad in the towne, it was also 
carried to the Princen Hof, where the noble lords, the 
Chancellor and the Ambassador from the most illustrious 
King of Denmark, Norway, Goths, and Wends, were then 
at table. For the which cause we were presently fetcht 
thither by the Schout and two of the lords of the town, and 
there in the presence of the said lord ambassador and the 
burger masters we made rehearsall of our voyages and 

This memorable and tragic expedition became famous 
in the annals of Dutch navigation and is still rightly 
regarded as one of the glories of Holland's heroic days. 
Hendrik Tollens wrote a poem upon it. De Veer's account 
of it was widely circulated, translated into many languages, 
and has been frequently reprinted, twice in English during 
the nineteenth century. Not till the year 1870 was Novaja 
Zemlja circumnavigated ; Captain Johannesen accomplished 
this feat and visited the east coast of the island, when he 

1597] Barents Relics 19 

approached but did not find Barents' winter quarters. 
In 187 1 another Norwegian, Captain Elling Carlsen of 
Hammerfest, took his sloop into Barents' Ice Haven on 
September 7th. On the 9th he discovered the ruins of the 
hut (16 metres long by 10 metres broad), and brought 
awav from it a number of relics, which had been buried and 
preserved under a thick accumulation of ice. Measures 
were successfully taken by the Dutch Government to obtain 
possession of these treasures. They were presented to 
Holland by their purchaser 1 . Captain Gundersen was 
the next to visit Ice Haven, in 1875. He found and 
brought away some old charts and a MS. translation of the 
narrative of Pet and Jackman's voyage of 1580. Finally, 
in 1876, Mr Charles Gardiner sailed in his yacht Glow- 
worm through Matoschkinshar to Ice Haven and made a 
thorough examination of the ruins of Barents' hut. He 
brought back 1 1 2 more relics which he generously presented 
to the Dutch Government 2 . All these objects were brought 
together and form the interesting collection now exhibited 
in the Museum at Amsterdam. 

1 J. K. J. De Jonge : Nova Zembla, De Voorwerpen door de Nederlandsche 
Zeevaarders na hunne overwintering aldaar in 1597, achtergelaten en in 1871, 
door Kapitein Car/sen teruggevonden. The Hague, 1873, 8vo. 

2 J. K. J. De Jonge : Nova Zembla, De Voorwerpe?i door de Nederlandsche 
Zeevaarders na hunne overwintering, op Nowaja-Zemlja bij hitn vertrek in 1597 
achtergelaten en in 1876, door Chas. Gardiner, Esq., aldaar teruggevonden 
The Hague, 1877, 8vo. 

CH. 11. 2 — 2 

20 [1603 



When the trade of the Muscovy Company with the 
White Sea began to suffer from Dutch competition, the 
idea not unnaturally arose that, as the result of fresh 
exploration, some new and valuable trade by way ol the 
northern regions, whether across to Cathay or elsewhere, 
might be created and the monopoly of it preserved by its 
discoverers. Accordingly, in 1603, a ship named the 
Grace, whereof Stephen Ben net was master, was ordered 
to go as usual to Kola, but, after completing her trade there 
" to proceed upon some discoverie " before returning home. 
This vessel on August 16th came in sight of Bear Island, 
which Barents had discovered and named in 1596. Bennet 
must have been aware of this discovery, but the account of 
his voyage says nothing of it and implies that the island was 
now seen for the first time. On the 1 7th they landed and 
saw foxes but returned aboard, without any profit ; " only 
one of our men tooke up a piece of lead, and, I (Gorden) 
found a piece of a morse's tooth, by which we perceived 
that the sea morses (walrus) did use thither." 

Next year (1604) the Speed, under the same master, after 
visiting Lapland, went again to Bear Island, which was 
now named after Sir Francis Cherry the chief adventurer of 
the voyage. Master and crew were very "green" about 
arctic matters. The multitude of birds astonished them, 
and when a walrus put his head out of the water "looking 
earnestly at the boate," and making " an horrible noyse and 
roaring... they in the boate thought he would have sunke 
it." A few days later, they found the walrus herd on the 

1605] Walrus Hunting 21 

N.E. shore of the island. " It seemed very strange to us 
to see such a multitude of monsters of the sea lye like 
hogges upon heapes : in the end wee shot at them, not 
knowing whether they could runne swiftly or seize upon us 

or no Some, when they were wounded in the flesh, 

would but looke up and lye downe againe. Some were 
killed with the first shot ; and some would goe into the sea 
with five or sixe shot ; they are of such an incredible 
strength. When all our shot and powder was spent, wee 
would blow their eyes out with a little pease shot, and then 
come on the blind side of them, and with our carpenter's 
axe cleave their heads. But for all we could doe, of above 
a thousand we killed but fifteene." They cut off the 
heads of the unfortunate beasts and carried them aboard. 
On succeeding days they killed more walruses and 
carried off their heads likewise, as well as such tusks as 
they could pick up, but they made no attempt to save the 

In 1605, Bennet was sent by the Muscovy Company 
direct to Cherry Island to spend the summer killing 
walruses and boiling down the blubber into oil. They now 
found that lances were better weapons than guns for the 
work they had to do. The result was that they killed 
abundance of morses and boiled down eleven tons of oil. 
The day they were going aboard ship again, all manner 
of things went wrong. Their boat was nearly swamped in 
the surf : two boys were almost hit by a falling rock : and 
so forth. Accordingly, they named the hill at the south of 
the island (whose slopes they had to climb to call for help) 
Mount Misery. " Likewise there is a very high mountain 
on the E.-S.-E. point of this Hand, which, because Master 
Weldon and I (J. Poole) got two foxes neere it, I called it 
Mount Maleperdus, alluding to the name in the merrie 
booke of Reinold the Fox 1 ." 

In 1606, the voyage was repeated. They had now 
become so expert in walrus hunting that in six hours they 
killed from six to seven hundred beasts, out of which 
22 tons of oil were made and three hogsheads filled with 

1 On modern maps of Bear Island the name Mount Misery is generally found 
attached to the hill that should be called Mount Maleperdus. 


22 Hudson s Voyage [May 

The most puzzling of all the accounts of early voyages 
to Spitsbergen is that which describes Hudson's voyage of 
1607. The fault was probably not Hudson's for he is 
known to have been an accurate observer, but John Playse's. 
Playse (or Pleyce) was one of the ship's company, who kept 
a journal and seems to have copied into it extracts from 
Hudson's log. It is clear, however, that he either misun- 
derstood what Hudson wrote, or altered it in the copying, for 
the purpose of claiming new discoveries beyond those made 
by Barents in 1596, as well as the attainment of a far 
higher latitude than was actually reached. In support of 
this contention I now proceed to analyze Playse's account, 
as printed by Purchas (Vol. in. p. 675), and reprinted by 
the Hakluyt Society in i860 [Henry Hudson the Navi- 
gator, edited by G. M. Asher, pp. 1-22). 

On May 1, 1607, the Hopewell, eighty tons, with 
Henry Hudson for master, John Colman mate, William 
Collins boatswain, and a crew of eight men and a boy, 
weighed anchor at Gravesend and sailed for the northern 
seas. After spending some time on the coast of Greenland, 
they sailed eastward for Spitsbergen, of whose discovery 
by Barents they were aware, and by whose chart they 
apparently directed their course. The claim to have inde- 
pendently rediscovered the island was never made by 
Hudson. On June 27 (p. 8), "about one or two of the 
clocke in the morning, we made Newland [i.e. Spitsbergen], 
being cleere weather on the sea ; but the land was covered 
with fogge, the ice lying very thick all along the shore for 
15 or 16 leagues, which we saw. Having faire wind, we 
coasted it in a very pleasing smooth sea, and had no ground 
at an hundred fathoms foure leagues from the shoare. This 
day at noone, wee accounted we were in 78 degrees [i.e. 
near the mouth of Ice Sound], and we stood along the shoare. 
This day was so foggie, that we were hardly able to see 
the land many times, but by our account we were neare 
Vogel Hooke [the north end of Prince Charles Foreland, 
lat. 79°]. About eight of the clocke this eevening, we 
purposed to shape our course from thence north-west." 

They tried to get away from the land, but the ice drove 
them back. About midnight after the 28th they were west 
and in sight of Vogelhoek. On July 1 at noon (p. 10), 

i6o;] Ice Sound 23 

"wee were embayed with ice, lying between the land and 
us. By our observation we were in yS degrees 42 minutes, 
whereby we accounted we were thwart of the great In- 
draught." The " great Indraught " is the " Grooten Inwyck " 
of Barents, the modern Ice Sound. The latitude of its mouth 
on Barents' chart is 78°, which is approximately correct. 
If they were in 78 42', they must have been off Cape Sietoe 
of Prince Charles Foreland. " To free ourselves of the ice, 
we steered between the south-east and south, and to the 
westward, as we could have sea [i.e. they could not have 
been making rapid progress ; yet] about six this evening 
it pleased God to give us cleere weather, and we found we 
were shot farre into the inlet, being almost a bay, and 
environed with very high mountains, with low land be- 
tweene them ; wee had no ground in this bay at an hundred 
fathoms." The description of the bay and the depth 
suggests that they were inside Ice Sound, 90 miles sailing 
from their position at noon, which is impossible. If the 
position was fairly correct, as is probable, they must merely 
have been somewhat east of the south point of Prince 
Charles Foreland, but certainly not up Foreland Sound. 

The log continues, " Being sure where we were, we 
steered away west [the natural course if they were off the 
mouth of Ice Sound, but an impossible course if they were 
in Foreland Sound], the wind at south, east and calme, and 
found all our ice on the northern shore, and a cleare sea to 
the southward." 

On July 2, "the wind at north-east, a faire gale with 
cleere weather, the ice being to the northward off us, and 
the weather shore [i.e. land being to the northward], and 
an open sea to the southwards under our lee," they were 
outside the mouth of Ice Sound, but not yet clear of the 
south extremity of Prince Charles Foreland. They sailed 
10 leagues to the north-west, and at noon, by observation, 
they were in lat. 78 56', i.e. nearly off Vogelhoek again. 
On the third (at noon ?) they were, by observation, in 
lat. 78 33', i.e. off the middle of Prince Charles Foreland. 
" This day wee had our shrouds frozen ; it was searching 
cold ; we also trended the ice, not knowing whether we 
were cleare or not, the wind being at north. The fourth 
was very cold, and our shrouds and sayles frozen ; we found 


24 Hudson s Voyage [July 

we were farre in the inlet." They accordingly stood south- 
south-east, south, and south-west by west, which seems to 
prove that they must have been at the southern entrance 
to Foreland Sound, up which the tide may have carried 
them in the fog. Such courses would not have taken 
them out of Ice Sound. 

At twelve on July 5, "we strooke a hull, having brought 
ourselves neare the mouth of the inlet." On July 6 they 
were in the open sea, in 77°30 / by observation; that is to 
say, off Bell Point, south of the entrance to Bell Sound. 
The day was clear, but nothing is said of land in sight. 
The 7th was again clear. They reckoned that they were 
in 78 , and "out of the Sacke." What is meant by the 
Sacke I do not know, but it cannot have been either Ice 
Sound, or Foreland Sound, or any other land-locked bay. 
The recorded latitudes prove that Hudson had not spent 
his time during the whole of the first week of July either 
in Foreland Sound or in Ice Sound, as commentators gene- 
rally assume. 

" Now, having the wind at north-north-east, we steered 
away south and by east, with purpose to fall with the 
southermost part of this land, which we saw ; hoping by 
this meane, either to defray the charge of the voyage [? by 
discovery], or else, if it pleased God in time to give us a 
faire wind to the north-east, to satisfie expectation." If the 
intention was to sail round the south cape of Spitsbergen 
and then to the north-east, it was soon abandoned, for, after 
some hours' calm on the 8th, they "stood away north-east," 
and continued sailing north-east as steadily as possible 
during the 9th and 10th. But in the afternoon of the 10th 
they had to sail south-south-west out of the ice "to get 
more sea-roome." On July 11," having a fresh gale of wind 
at south-south-east, it behoved mee 1 to change my course, 
and to sayle to the north-east by the souther end of New- 
land." Clearly here "souther" is a misprint for "norther," 
for they went on sailing towards the north. At noon their 
latitude was 79 1 7', and the sun on the meridian bore 

1 Passages written in the first person singular are assumed to be copied by 
Playse, verbatim, out of Hudson's own log. The whole passage relating to 
July 11 (p. 12) is of this character. 

i6o;] Collins Cape 25 

"south and by west, westerly," which gives the compass 

They soon ran into ice again, and had to turn south 
once more. At noon on July 12, "by our accompt we 
were in 80 degrees," but this is probably an error for yg'\ 
They continued sailing north and north-east. At midnight 
(p. 13), "out of the top William Collins, our boatswaine, 
saw the land called Newland by the Hollanders [i.e. Vogel- 
hoek 1 ], bearing south-south-west twelve leagues from us 2 ." 
This would put them in lat. 79 30' or less, as they generally 
overestimated distances. On July 13, at noon, "by obser- 
vation we were in 80 degrees 23 minutes." Seeing that we 
know their courses from this point till next day, when they 
were off the mouth of Whales [King's] Bay, and that we 
can thus reckon back from a known position, it is demon- 
strably probable that for 8o° 23' we should read 79 23'. 

On July 14th, "at noone, being a thicke fogge, we 
found ourselves neere land, bearing east off us ; and running 
farther we found a bay [Whales Bay] open to the west and 
by north northerly, the bottome and sides thereof being to 
our sight very high and ragged land. The norther side of 
this bayes mouth, being high land, is a small island [really 
a mountain cape, Scoresby's Mitre Cape, which from the 
south looks like an island], the which we called Collins 
Cape, by the name of our boatswaine, who first saw it. In 
this bay we saw many whales, and one of our company 
having a hooke and line overboord to trie for fish, a whale 
came under the keele of our ship and made her held ; yet 
by God's mercie we had no harme, but the losse of the 
hooke and three parts of the line. At a south-west sunne, 
from the north-west and by north a flood set into the bay. 
At the mouth of this bay we had sounding thirtie fathoms, 
and after six and twentie fathoms ; but being- farther in, we 
had no ground at an hundred fathoms, and therefore judged 
it rather a sound then a bay. Betweene this high ragged 
[land], in the swampes and vallies lay much snow. Heere 

1 Which throughout this log is assumed to be the most northerly point seen 
by Barents. 

2 This emphasis on the land discovered by the Hollanders is intended to 
prepare for a claim presently to be made for " land by us discovered," Playse's 
idea being that Barents only discovered as far as Vogelhoek — an utter blunder, 
if not an intentional fraud. 


26 Whales Bay [July 

wee found it hot. On the souther side of this bay lye 
three or four small islands or rockes 1 . In the bottom of 
this bay, John Colman, my mate, and William Collins, my 
boatswaine, with two others of our company, went on 
shoare, and there they found and brought aboord a payre 
of morses teeth in the jaw ; they likewise found whales 
bones, and some dosen or more of deeres homes ; they 
saw the footings of beasts of other sorts ; they also saw 
rote-geese ; they saw much driftwood on the shoare, and 
found a stream or two of fresh water. Here they found it 
hot on the shoare, and drank water to coole their thirst, 
which they also commended. Here we found the want of 
a better ship-boate. As they certified me, they were not 
on the shoare past half an houre, and among other things 
brought aboord a stone of the countrey. When they went 
from us it was calme, but presently after we had a gale of 
wind at north-east, which came with the flood with fogge. 
We plyed too and againe in the bay, waiting their coming ; 
but after they came aboord we had the wind at east and by 
south a fine gale ; we minding our voyage, and the time to 
perform it, steered away north-east and north-north-east. 
This night proved cleere, and we had the sunne on the 
meridian, on the north and by east part of the compasse ; 
from the upper edge of the horizon, with the crosse-staffe, 
we found his height 10 degrees 40 minutes, without allowing 
any thing for the semidiameter of the sunne, or the distance 
off the end of the staffe from the center in the eye." 

The latitude, therefore, was approximately 79° 5'. The 
latitude of the mouth of King's Bay is 79°. Moreover, 
King's Bay agrees with the bay described in all particulars. 
The sounding at its mouth is 27 fathoms, whilst within 
there are 250 fathoms. Near its southern shore are four 
or five small islands or rocks, near Coal Haven. Hudson 
named it Whales Bay, as we gather from a later entry 
(p. 20) in Playse's log, where he says (July 27), "we found 
the want of a good ship-boate, as once we had done before 
at Whales bay." The name was used in 161 1 in the 
Muscovy Company's instructions to Thomas Edge, who 
was ordered to take his ship to Whales Bay, and there fish 
for whales, and who sailed accordingly to King's Bay. 

1 Here begins another extract from Hudson's log. 

1607] Hakluyts Headland 27 

In the morning of July 15 "was very cleere weather, 
the sunne shining warme, but little wind at east southerly. 
By a south-east sunne we had brought Collins cape to beare 
of! us south-east, and we saw the high land of Newland, 
that part by us discovered on our starboard, eight or ten 
leagues from us trending north-east and by east [really 
north magnetic ; their bearings are frequently very wrong], 
and south-west and by west, eighteene or twentie leagues 
from us to the north-east, being a very high mountaynous 
land, like ragged rockes with snow betweene them [the 
so-called Seven Icebergs, a good description]. By mine 
account the norther part of this land which now we saw 
stretched into 81 degrees." The furthest point they could 
possibly have seen was Hakluyt's Headland, which Edge 
records to have been named by Hudson on this voyage, 
but that is only in lat. 79° 49/. Probably they did not at 
this moment see further than the point south of the entrance 
to Magdalena Bay. The claim to have discovered the land 
north of Collins Cape is as unfounded as was their claim to 
have reached a very high latitude. 

In the morning of July 16 the weather was warm and 
clear. " Being runne toward the farthest part of the land 
by us discovered [i.e. to Hakluyt's Headland], which for the 
most part trendeth nearest hand north-east and south-west 
[really north and south], wee saw more land joyning to the 
same, trending north [really east] in our sight, by meanes 
of the clearnesse of the weather, stretching farre in 82 de- 
grees and by the bowing or shewing of the sky much 

There is a serious blunder here. Having reached 
Hakluyt's Headland, they mistook the easterly trending 
north coast for a northward extension of the west coast, 
and so added on longitude to latitude. Believing, or pre- 
tending to believe, that Hakluyt's Headland was in 8i°, 
instead of 79° 49', they then concluded that the land they 
saw stretched on northward (instead of eastward) into 82° 
and further. "Which when I first saw," continues Playse, 
now clearly quoting from Hudson, " I hoped to have had 
a free sea between the land and the ice, and meant to have 
compassed this land by the north [i.e. to have sailed along 
the north coast]. But now, finding by proofe it was im- 


28 Bell Sound [July 

possible by means of the abundance of ice compassing us 
about by the north and joyning to the land, and seeing God 
did blesse us with a faire wind to sayle by the south of this 
land [i.e. round the South Cape] to the north-east, we 
returned, bearing up the helme, minding to hold that part 
of the land which the Hollanders had discovered [i.e. Prince 
Charles Foreland and the coast below Ice Sound] in our 
sight ; and if contrary winds should take us, to harbour 
there, and to trie what we could finde to the charge of our 
voyage, and to proceed on our discoverie as soone as God 

should blesse us with winde I think this land may bee 

profitable to those that will adventure it. In this bay 
before spoken of [Whales Bay], and about this coast, we 
saw more abundance of seales than we had seene any time 
before, swimming in the water. At noone this day, having 
a stiffe g-ale of wind at north, we were thwart of Collins 
cape, standing in 81 degrees and a halfe." 

Seeing that on the previous page (p. 15) he had 
recorded a very correct observation which gave 79 5' as 
the latitude of Collins Cape, it is evident that there must 
have been some jockeying of the figures here ; but upon 
whom the responsibility should lie for the falsification it is 
now impossible to say. It is, at all events, certain that the 
most northerly point reached by Hudson was Hakluyt's 
Headland, and that, the year being very icy and the pack 
fast down on the north coast of Spitsbergen, he was unable 
to proceed thence to the eastward as Barents had done. 

From noon on July 16, and throughout the 17th, 18th, 
and 19th, they proceeded southward. At eight o'clock in 
the morning of the 20th " wee saw land ahead of us under 
our lee, and to weatherward of us, distant from us 12 
leagues, being part of Newland. It is very high moun- 
tainous land ; the highest that we had seene until now [an 
incorrect observation]. As we sayled neere it, we saw a 
sound [Bell Sound] ahead of us, lying east and west. . . . From 
eight till noone was calme. This day, by observation, we 
were in jy degrees 26 minutes [the mouth of Bell Sound is 
77 40']. On the norther side of the mouth of this inlet lie 
three ilands [really blocks of mountains divided by valleys, 
which would look like islands from the distance (10 leagues) 
they were from land], not farre the one from the other, being 

1607] La nun as Island 29 

very high mountainous land. The farthest of the three to 
the north-west [i.e. the block of the sea-front just south of 
the entrance to Ice Sound] hath four very high mounts 
[Mount Starashchin], like heapes of corne. That iland 
next the inlets mouth, hath one verv high mount on the 
souther end [true!]. Here one of our companie killed a 
red-billed bird." 

They were still in sight of land on the 23rd and 25th, 
but when they sailed away west towards Greenland, 
meaning, as he afterwards states (p. 20), quoting from 
Hudson, " to have made my returne by the north of Green- 
land to Davis his Streights, and so for England," if there 
had been a passage, which of course there was not. So he 
sailed back westward, and on July 30 saw some part of 
Spitsbergen again. 

"In the evening, we saw an iland bearing off us north- 
west [? N.E.] from us 5 leagues, and we saw land bearing 
off from us 7 leagues. We had land likewise bearing off us 
from east-south-east to south-east and by east as we judged 
10 leagues." The name Lammas Island marked on Hon- 
dius' map, which professes to embody Hudson's discoveries, 
probably refers to this island, though Lammas-day is not 
July 30, but August 1. What they saw was not an island 
but a mountain, for there is no island in the south of Spits- 
bergen that can be seen 5 leagues away — certainly not the 
Dun Islands, which correspond in latitude with the Lammas 
Island of the map. It is highly probable that they were 
off the mouth of Horn Sound, and that the " island " was 
Rotchesfell. Sailing on slowly south, they accounted that 
at midnight they were in lat. 76 . This must be a misprint 
for yy°, which agrees with their probable position. The 
parallel 76° runs nearly 30 miles clear south of the South 
Cape. The land, 10 leagues distant, " was the likeliest 
land that wee had seene on all parts of Newland, being 
playne riggie land of a meane height and not ragged, as all 
the rest was that we had seene this voyage, nor covered with 
snow." Probably this refers to the low hills and large flats 
that flank the coast for about 10 miles south of Horn Sound. 
Early on August 1 they were thwart of Bear Island. " In 
ranging homewards," says Thomas Edge in Purchas (111. 
p. 464), Hudson "discovered an island [Jan Mayen Island] 


30 Edges first Voyage [1608 

lying in seventy-one degrees, which he named Hudson's 
Tutches." On September 15 the Hopezvell "arrived in 
Tilberie Hope in the Thames." Thus ended a voyage to 
which, as far as Spitsbergen at any rate is concerned, more 
historical importance has been attached than it deserved. 
No new land was discovered and no very high latitude at- 
tained. Its one important result was the observation of the 
number of whales frequenting Whales Bay. A comparison 
between Playse's log and that of Barents' companion Gerrit 
De Veer demonstrates the great superiority of the Dutch- 
men's work, both as explorers and as recorders of what 
they discovered. 

Hudson reported to his employers how numerous were 
the whales, walruses, and seals, frequenting Whales Bay. 
The ships that were sent to Bear Island to kill walrus 
might evidently do better to come to this yet more 
northerly region. If they could bring up crews capable of 
killing whales, there was a probability of their making very 
profitable voyages. Such appears to have been Hudson's 

It was not, however, immediately acted upon. Next 
year, 1608, the Paul was sent to Cherry Island, with 
Poole again for pilot, and Thomas Edge 1 for supercargo. 
This was apparently Edge's first voyage to the far north 
which he was destined so often to revisit. According to 
Poole's account it seems to have been successful, but from 
Edge's commission of 161 1 we learn that it resulted in a 
loss to the company, owing they say to the competition of 
Hull interlopers. A young walrus carried home this year 
reached London alive and was shown at Court " where the 
king and many honourable personages beheld it with 
admiration for the strangenesse of the same, the like 
whereof had never before beene seene alive in England. 
Not long after it fell sicke and died. As the beast in 
shape is very strange, so is it of strange docilitie, and apt 
to be taught." Live walruses have always been hard to 
bring to the temperate parts of Europe. I can only hear 
of one that ever came on its own account. That was the 

1 For biographical details about Thomas Edge see Sir Martin Conway's 
Early Dutch and English Voyages to Spitsbergen (London ; Hakluyt Soc. 
p. xv.). 

\6og] Hull Interlopers 31 

walrus of whose head Diirer made the fine drawing, now in 
the British Museum, dated 1521, and inscribed "The 
animal whose head I have drawn here was taken in the 
Netherlandish sea and was 12 Brabant ells long and had 
four feet 1 ." In 161 3 two live walruses, cow and calf, were 
brought to Holland and drawn "from the life" by Hessel 
Gerrits, who published an engraving of them in his His- 
toire du pays nommd Spitsberghe. In recent times walruses 
have been brought to Europe rarely, and seldom long 
survived their arrival. 

Two ships were told off in 1609 to go to Lapland and 
then on to Cherry [Bear] Island, but Poole changed the plan 
and took his ship direct, thus reaching Bear Island on the 
8th of May. As usual they made the cove near the south 
point their harbour whenever the ice allowed, but the sea 
about the island was so infested with ice this year that it 
was not often possible for a ship to lie near the land. 
Moreover, so long as the ice packed about the coast wal- 
ruses did not come ashore, but bears on the contrary were 
numerous. So they killed a great many bears, about which 
they tell several good stories, too long for quotation here". 
A boat's crew was, for many days, separated from its ship 
and had many adventures and the ships also suffered from 
ice-pressures. The lodes of lead-ore were again discovered, 
near the south cove and on the neighbouring little island, 
named Gull Island, whilst on the north coast they dis- 
covered coal, which burnt well. This year there were two 
interloping ships from Hull, Bonner being master of one, 
Thomas Marmaduke of the other. There was some un- 
pleasantness between the interlopers and the company's 
men, but misfortunes of various kinds rendered each in turn 
dependent upon the others for important services. Not till 
the end of July were many walruses killed, but then they did 
pretty well. On the 10th of August the company's last 
ship sailed away and Bonner was left behind in possession. 
It is recorded that Thomas Marmaduke, in his ship the 
Heartsease, sailed this year northwards from Bear Island 
and "discovered" Spitsbergen. No details of this most im- 

1 W. Martin Conway, Literary Remains of Albrecht Diirer. Cambridge, 
1889, pp. in, 145. 

2 See Purchas ill. 561, 562. 


32 Thomas Marmaduke [1609 

portant voyage are preserved 1 , but it was long remembered 
by the people of Hull, and on it they based their claim to 
a share in the whale-fishery. 

As Marmaduke's name will often recur it may be well 
to put together briefly the main facts known about him. In 
a list dated Sept. 1600 he is mentioned as a younger brother 
of the Hull Trinity House. He was probably in command 
of one of the Hull interlopers at Bear Island in 1608. In 
1609 he went to Bear Island and Spitsbergen. In 161 1 
he was at Spitsbergen again and sailed along the coast 
killing walruses ; he also salvaged the wrecks of the Mus- 
covy Company's ships and carried their crews home. In 
1 6 1 2 he explored the north coast of Spitsbergen as far as 
Grey Hook. In 161 3 and 16 14 he explored for the Mus- 
covy Company. In 1613 he visited the north coast and 
then went to the eastward, and it was probably he who 
discovered Hope Island 2 and other islands to the eastward. 
In 1 6 14 he again went as far as Grey Hook and afterwards 
to the eastward. In 16 17 he is mentioned as being at 
Bear Island and later as sailing for Hope Island. In 1619 
he came into Horn Sound with his ship badly damaged by 
ice in trying to get east from the South Cape. This is the 
last mention of him. He claimed to have discovered Jan 
Mayen at an early date. Evidently he was one of the 
most active Spitsbergen explorers of the first generation. 
It is a pity that only these bare facts are known about him. 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 497 (1643), No. 68. 

2 The name of his ship in 161 1 and 1612 was the Hopewell. 



In 1610 1 Sir Thomas Smith and the rest of the 
Muscovy Company again sent the Amitie (70 tons), 
with Jonas Poole as master, Nicholas Woodcock, mate, 
and a crew of thirteen men and a boy, to Cherry (Bear) 
Island. They were ordered not merely to kill walruses 
there, as in previous years, but to sail on northward, and 
search "for the liklihood of a trade or passage that way." 
They sailed from Blackwall on the 1st March. Without 
touching at Cherry Island, they came on the 6th May in 
sight of a mountain in the south of Spitsbergen, named by 
them, Muscovy Company's Mount. Sailing on, they dis- 
covered, four leagues further north, the mouth of Horn 
Sound, and sent a skiff ashore, which returned with a piece 
of reindeer horn, whence the sound was named, Horn 

" I followed," says Poole, "into the said bay with the 
ship, but standing in I had a stiffe gale of winde off the 
shoare, which drave abundance of Ice out of the Sound, 
through the which I enforced the ship, in hope there to 

have found an harbour Finding no benefit to bee had, 

nor haven for the ship, I stood to sea." Next day he 
approached and named Bell Point, " because of a hill 

formed like a bell on the top To the northwards of 

Bell Point goes in a great Bay (Bell Sound) with two 
Sounds in it, the one (Sardammer Bay, Van Keulen Bay) 
lieth E.-S.-E., the other (Low Sound) N.-E. by E. ; the 
last sound you can hardly discerne, by reason there is a 

1 Purchas his Pilgrimes, London, 1625, Vol. III. Book IV. Chap. I. p. 699 
et seq. 

C. CH. IV. 3 

34 Low Sound [May 

long Island (Axel Island) lying in the mouth of it. But 
the going into the said sound is on the north side, yet there 
is an inlet under Point Partition, but very narrow and full of 
rocks and an exceeding tide setteth in there, ...I called the 
North Sound Lowe Sound. Into the bay I turned... Being 
neere the Point that parteth both the sounds, the winde 
increased with raine. Then I saw the sound frozen over 
from side to side, and upon the ice a beare and great store 
of Mohorses (walruses), but the winde blew so extreme 
hard, that the boat could not row to windwards, to trie if 
we could kill some of them." The weather was very bad, 
" very thick fogs with wind, frost, and snow, and cold, that 
I thinke they did strive here which of them should have 
the superioritie." The sea was full of ice, and the naviga- 
tion difficult. 

On the 2 1 st Poole was off the south point of Prince 
Charles Foreland (which he calls Black Point He), whence 
he saw and named Ice Sound. Like Horn and Bell 
Sounds, it also was frozen up. Finding no shelter he con- 
tinued northward, sometimes trying to fish but without 
success. On the 25th he sent a boat ashore at Fair Fore- 
land ; it returned laden with drift-wood and whalebone 
picked up from the shore. The quantity of whalebone 
thus obtained at different points on the coast during this 
voyage was very great. The crew saw many walruses and 
brought news that fresh water ponds and lakes on shore 
were unfrozen, "which putteth me in hope of a milde 
summer here, after so sharp a beginning as I have had, and 
my opinion is such (and I assure myself it is so) that a 
passage may bee assoone attayned this way, by the Pole, 
as any unknowne way whatsoever, by reason the sun doth 
give a great heat in this climate ; and the Ice, I meane that 
that freezeth here, is nothing so huge as I have seene in 
jt, degrees." 

Poole cruised about for some days between Fair Fore- 
land and Knotty Point, as he named the cape north of 
Magdalena Bay, looking into and naming Close Cove 
(Cross Bay), Deer Sound (King's Bay), and Fowle Sound 
(Foreland Sound). On the 1st of June he was in Close 
Cove, where he found a sheltered anchorage in the west 
side of the sound. This was the haven now known as 

i6io] Cross Road named 35 

Ebeltoft Haven. Poole named it Cross Road, because 
" upon the side of a hill, a mile to the westwards of the 
Road, I set up a Crosse, with a writing upon it, signifying 
the Day of my arrivall first in this land, by whom I was 
set out, and the time of my being heere." Several days 
were spent in this neighbourhood, and excellent sport was 
enjoyed. Near the road was a small rock-island, fre- 
quented by walruses. One morning Poole, after killing a 
bear, visited this rock to kill walruses. " As wee went by 
the shoare side I espied Deere, three of them I slue, and 
one of my company one. But when I came to the rocke, 
the Ice that the beasts lay on was hollow, and the rocks 
that was betwixt the Ice and the sea stood sloping toward 
the sea ; the which when I saw, I determined to go aboord 
and let them alone, yet afterward I went on the rocke 
betwixt the Ice and the sea: and as I with the rest of my 
company were killing them, the Ice brake, and Ice and 
beasts slid into the sea together, and carryed one of the 
men with them, so that he escaped out of that danger very 
hardly ; for besides the weight of dead Mohorses, and Ice 
that bruised him, the beasts that were alive strook at him 
in the water, and bruised him very soare. I had been in 
the same case, if I had not been the nimbler, and slipt on 
one side. I killed three morses, whose teeth I tooke off. 
Then I espied the Beare, which my Mate had hurt before 
with a shot ; hee went into the sea, when hee saw the 
boate, where I slew him with a lance, and brought him 

The abundance of animal life at that time in Spitsbergen 
can scarcely be exaggerated. Poole constantly records 
"great store of whales," but he made no attempt to slay 
them, for the Basques were then the only people who 
understood whaling. On the 5th of June, continues Poole, 
I " killed some -fowle, which I found in great abundance : 
and when I was ready to go aboord, I saw fourteene 
Deere, at which time I spent all my powder, and shot but 
one shot, with the which I slue a fat buck. The same day, 
at a south sun, I went on land and slue two deere more. 
And at a South-west sun I went on land and slue a doe, 
and took the faune alive, and brought it aboord, but it 
dyed the next day. The calme continued till the sixth 

ch. iv. 3 — 2 

36 Ice Sound entered [June 

day,... then I sent the skiffe to the rocke aforesaid, to see 
what store of morses were there ; at three of the clocke 
they came aboord, and told me there was neere two hundred 
beasts. I tooke bothe the boat and the skiffe, with all my 
company and went to the rock, and in going thither I slue 
a bear : but when I came to the rocke, the beasts begun 
to goe into the sea, then I presently went on land, with all 
my company, and slue eightie beasts, whose teeth I tooke, 
and in goine aboord slue another beare." 

On the 14th of June he sailed from Cross Road and 
spent a day or two in the neighbourhood of Knotty Point 
but soon returned to Cross Road again, where one day ten 
bears were killed. From the 21st to the 26th Poole was 
cruising down and landing on the west coast of Charles 
Foreland, where he killed bears and reindeer and gathered 
a great quantity of what he calls Whales' Fins, that is to 
say whalebone fallen from dead whales. On the 26th he 
entered Ice Sound and observed Safe Haven, " but by 
reason of the tyde, edy-winds, I could not get into it " ; so 
he sailed across to Green Haven (which he named) and 
anchored there on the 27th. Next day he stayed in the 
haven "and tried the beares grease to bring it into oyle, 
and when we were all busied, a beare came swimming over 
the bay, towards the ship, which I slue, and split my 

On July 5th he sailed, Ice Sound being still very full of 
ice ; on the 6th he was off Low Ness in heavy weather, 
" abundance of ice all alono- the land to the Southwards of 
Bell Sound." He worked up and down the coast till the 
1 7th, when he once more anchored in Cross Road, and 
slew a bear, capturing her two young alive. Hunting 
expeditions made into King's Bay (Deer Sound) were very 
successful and resulted moreover in the discovery of " Sea- 
coales, which burnt very well." These coals were doubt- 
less obtained in what is now known as Coal Haven 1 . On 
the 24th Poole was again in Bell Sound and " found but 
little ice." He sent the skiff " to seeke for a road for the 

1 On the Jurassic coal of Spitsbergen see a paper by John J. Stevenson in 
the Annals of the New York Acad, of Science, Vol. xvi. no. 4, pp. 82-95, 
17 March, 1905. The coal beds at Advent Bay were inspected from an indus- 
trial point of view in 1903 and began to be worked in 1904. 

i6io] A successful Voyage 37 

ship and also for commodities." The skiff explored the 
channel leading into Low Sound, south of Axel Island, 
but found it to be "full of rockes from side to side." A 
sheltered harbour two leagues east of Point Partition was 
discovered and there the ship anchored on the 25th. This 
was doubtless the cove behind what is now called Eders 
Island in Van Keulen Bay. 

On the 27th he weighed and "steered out betwixt an 
iland and the point where I rid." Next day, being near 
Ice Point, he met with much ice, " which put mee from the 
land," so he stood away for Cherry (Bear) Island. On the 
1 st of August he was still beating in the ice and "could 
find no end thereof, because it was so foggie, and the ice 
packed very close." Ultimately he got out to the westward 
of the ice infesting Bear Island and thereupon "determined 
to stand for England, as God would gave me leave... The 
last of August I arrived at London, Blessed be God for 
ever and ever. Amen." 

The bag made in Spitsbergen on this voyage consisted 
of about 1 20 walrus, 5 1 reindeer, 30 bears killed and 3 cubs 
taken alive, one narwhal horn and a great quantity of whale- 
bone picked up on the shore. The blubber was carried to 
London in bulk and the boiling of it down into oil caused 
the Muscovy Company "great trouble and inconvenience." 
Moreover "lewd and bad people," to wit apparently some 
of the seamen, " imbeseled " the company's property, 
whalebone, walrus teeth, and the like. Nevertheless the 
Adventurers seem to have done pretty well. Jonas Poole 
oave them such an account of the " great store of whales " 
in the Spitsbergen bays and other resources of that land, 
that a larger expedition was decided on for the following 
year ( 1 6 1 1 ). 




Of whales and whaling much has been written and 
more remains to be written. In this place we can deal 
with neither subject at length, but only so far as the doings 
and adventures of man in Spitsbergen are concerned. 
Whales are of many kinds and sizes, but only two species 
interested the whalers of the old days. Those were the 
two important whalebone whales, Balaena mysticetus and 
Balaena australis, popularly called the "right whale," be- 
cause they were the " right " kind for whalers to attack. 
As to the zoology of these and all other whales the reader 
is referred to my friend Mr F. E. Beddard's Book of 
Whales (Progressive Science Series, London, 1900), a 
work from which much of the information contained in the 
following pages is derived. Of the two right whales, 
Balaena mysticetus is popularly known as the Greenland 
whale, whilst Balaena australis was generally referred to in 
Europe as the Biscay whale. The Greenland whale seems 
to have confined itself to the Arctic regions and was not 
hunted before the days of Arctic discovery. This was the 
whale that was pursued near Greenland, Jan Mayen, Spits- 
bergen, and the North Cape. The Biscay whale frequented 
the wide oceans and probably was very common before 
man attained facility in the craft of killing it. 

Whalebone (baleen) is defined in the Ceiitury Dictionary 
as "the elastic horny substance which grows in place of 
teeth in the upper jaw of whales of the family Balaenidae, 
forming a series of thin parallel plates from a few inches to 
several feet long." It serves the purpose of a filter to 
separate from the sea-water drawn into the beast's mouth 

Stranded Whales 39 

the tiny Pteropods and Crustacea which form its food, 
called by whalers "right whale feed" or " brit." The use 
of whalebone for the purpose of stiffening various female 
garments was understood at an early date. The whale- 
bone cut from a whale's mouth was called whale's " fins " 
by the early Spitsbergen whalers. At the present day 
whalebone is said to be worth about ,£2,000 a ton. It 
was less valuable in the 17th century, but it was always 
sought after since whaling began. 

The other chief valuable product of whales was the 
blubber, wherewith the body of the beast is thickly encased 
just below the skin. This blubber was cut off and boiled 
down into oil. The oil was chiefly used for soap-making, 
as we shall hereafter see. Its earliest use. was probably for 

Obviously, stranded whales were the first to be utilized 
by man. Even now when the number of whales is so 
greatly reduced we hear of a stranded whale in England 
every few years. In old days they must have been com- 
moner. Stranded whales on the Dutch shores are men- 
tioned in old chronicles and records. The arrival of a 
whale was regarded with apprehension by the superstitious 
folk of those days. Twisck, the Dutch chronicler, writes 
that "the stranding of such monstrous beasts is usually a 
sign of some great event to follow 1 ." He generally asso- 
ciated it with Turkish inroads into Europe. But attention 
was paid to stranded whales long before his day. Thus 
Diirer writes in his diary for November 1520 : 

"At Zierikzee in Zeeland a whale has been stranded by a high tide and 
a gale of wind. It is much more than ioo fathoms long & no man living 
in Zeeland has seen one even a third as long as this. The fish cannot get off 
the land. The people would gladly see it gone, as they fear the great stink, 
for it is so large that they say it could not be cut in pieces and the blubber 
boiled down in half a year." 

On December 9th he writes : " Early on Monday we started again by ship 
and went by the Veere and Zierikzee and tried to get sight of the great fish, 
but the tide had carried him off again." 

In 1 53 1 a whale 68 feet long and 30 feet thick was 
stranded near Haarlem'-'. One was stranded in Holland in 

1 Peter Janssz. Twisck, Oironijck van den Ondergaugh der Tyranneti, 
Hoorn, 1619, 1620, 2 vols. 4to. Vol. 11. p. 1727. 
- Twisck, II. 1039. 

CH. V. 

40 Early Whaling 

1566. In 1577 a whale came up the Scheldt in July, and 
thirteen or fourteen others were seen off the village of 
Heyde in Holland on the 22nd and 23rd of November 1 . 
A whale stranded at Sandvoort in 1594 was drawn by 
Goltzius. J. Matham engraved one that came ashore in 
1598. In Dec. 1603 a whale was killed in the Scheldt 2 . 
Esaias van der Velde engraved one lying on the beach at 
Noortwijk in 16 14. Another was stranded between Sche- 
veningen and Katwijk on Jan. 21st, 161 7. William Buyte- 
wech made a drawing and an etching of it, which are in the 
Berlin Print-room 3 . 

If, as seems probable, stranded whales were the first to 
be killed by man, the attempt may next have been made to 
drive or frighten them ashore, as is still done with white 
whales. To kill whales in the sea must have been a 
relatively late invention, yet it goes back to an early his- 
torical date, if it be true, as Ochther, a Norwegian, told 
King Alfred, towards the end of the 9th century, "that he 
sailed along the Norway coast so far north as commonly 
the whale-hunters used to travel." Perhaps he was only 
referring to walrus-hunters. Some believe that true 
whaling was known in England by the year 1000 ; if so, 
it had become a lost art in the times of the Muscovy 
Company, with which we are now concerned. 

The whalers, par excellence, of Europe were the men of 
the Bay of Biscay, especially the Basques 4 . The fishermen 
of Biscay and Guipuzcoa had pursued the whales that 
frequented their coasts from time immemorial. From St 
Jean de Luz to Santander whaling was the chief source of 
wealth. The whale finds place in local coats of arms. We 
read of harpoon whaling in the 1 ith century. Of course the 
use of the harpoon was no novelty. Prehistoric man took 
fish with harpoons before he invented hooks. The ancient 
Egyptians killed the hippopotamus with harpoons 6 . In the 
13th century the King of Spain, in conceding privileges to 

1 Twisck, 11. 1328. 2 Twisck, II. 1560. 

3 Jalirb. d. k. Preuss. Kss. 1902, pp. 114, 115. 

4 See a monograph by M. Fischer, "Cetacees du Sud-Ouest de la France," 
Actes Soc. Litn. Bordeaux, 1881. See also Sir Clements Markham, "On the 
Whale Fishery of the Basque Provinces of Spain," Proceedings of the Zoological 
Soc. 1 88 1, p. 969. 

5 Vide Erman, Life in Ancient Egypt, London, 1894, p. 240. 

Basque Whalers 41 

San Sebastian and other whaling ports, retained as his 
share a strip of blubber from the head to the foot of every 
whale taken. To the present day traces of the former 
prevalence of the whaling industry are to be seen in the 
remains of " virgias " or look-out towers, whence notice of 
the appearance of the whales was given to the fleet of boats 
ready to put out after them. The numerous "look-out" 
points whose names remain on the old Spitsbergen maps 
indicate the transfer of this Biscay habit to the north. 
The language of whaling is full of Basque terms and names, 
such as "harpoon." The very by-laws of 17th century 
whaling were the old Basque customs stereotyped. Such 
was the important understanding that a ''fast" fish, or one 
in any way in possession, whether alive or dead, is the sole 
property of the persons so maintaining the connexion or 
possession. A loose fish, alive or dead, is fair game for 
anyone. The custom of hoisting a Mag when a fish is 
struck and all the whalers' peculiar ways were of Basque 

As the Biscay whale was hunted into scarcity along the 
coasts, the whalers were led to pursue their calling further 
out to sea. French and Spanish Basques from the ports 
all the way round the Biscay coast sailed boldly forth and 
killed whales on the coast of Iceland, Newfoundland, in the 
Bay of St Lawrence, and perhaps even round Greenland, 
before the Muscovy Company came into existence. By 
the end of the 16th century the Icelanders had joined them 
and the whale-fleet of all nations in the Atlantic waters 
amounted to 50 or 60 sail. In and after 1594, ships were 
fitted out at Bristol 1 to take part in the Cape Breton whale 
and walrus fishery, and the Grace of Bristol is recorded as 
having made a specially prosperous voyage. In 1598 it is 
stated that some adventurers of Hull sent whalers to Ice- 
land and the North Cape and were so well rewarded that 
they repeated the venture in succeeding years 2 . About the 
same time some Dutch ships also took part in the North 

1 In St Mary Redcliffe Church, Bristol, there is the rib of a Newfoundland 
whale, honourably preserved (phot, in Social England, Vol. II. p. 673). 

2 Elking's View of the Greenland Trade and Whale Fishery. See also 
Scoresby, II. 20. In Holy Trinity Church, Hull, there are interesting monu- 
ments of this period. Some are said to be to the memory of whalers, but 
I have not seen them. 

CH. V. 

42 Basque Whalers 

Cape whaling, and thereby (in 1 596 and later) gave rise to 
a correspondence between the Dutch Government and that 
of Denmark, which claimed a monopoly of fishing in the 
Norwegian Seas'. 

It is probable that Dutch and English alike in these 
early whaling enterprises employed Biscay harpooners 
whenever they attacked whales, but it is likewise possible 
that these early so-called whaling voyages of English and 
Dutch ships were really nothing more than walrus-hunting 
expeditions and that no true whales were hunted by them. 
At all events Barents and Hudson and the other Dutch 
and English pilots and skippers who first visited the Bear 
Island and Spitsbergen seas paid little attention to the 
whales. They do not seem to have regarded whaling as 
an industry likely to be attractive to the adventurers who 
sent them forth. It was not till the walruses had been 
killed out at Bear Island and till Poole in 16 10 had spent a 
season in Spitsbergen and reported again the great quantity 
of whales frequenting its western bays that an experi- 
mental whaling expedition was decided on. 

By that time the Muscovy Company's men were some- 
what familiarised with Arctic conditions. Their original 
fear of walruses and bears had been overcome by ex- 
perience. The hunting instinct was doubtless strong in 
them and they were probably eager to try issues with the 
largest monsters of the deep. It was, however, fully 
realized that without the help of Biscay experts, English 
fishermen were unable to attack a whale. They did not 
know how to set to work. If ever Englishmen had been 
whalers the craft was by this time forgotten. It was the 
same with the Dutch, the Danes, and the northern French. 
Each nation in turn as it bewail whaling did so in the first 
instance with Biscay help and under Biscay direction. 

It seems that the Muscovy Company, when it decided 
to adventure- on the new trade, sent Nathaniel Wright to 
live among the Biscay whalers at their home and to enlist 
a number of them for English service in Spitsbergen ; or 
perhaps Wright was already on the spot. At all events he 
was employed as recruiting agent and lived in Biscay 

1 Muller, N. Co. p. 240 note. 

Plans for 1611 43 

fourteen years, after which time he returned to England 
and became "a director and adventurer in the voyage to 
Greenland" {i.e. Spitsbergen 1 ). 

The plans for the expedition of 161 1 are set forth at 
length in the Muscovy Company's Commissions to Jonas 
Poole, "grand Pilot," and Thomas Edge, factor, printed by 
Purchas. Two vessels were to be sent out, the Mary 
Margaret (150 tons), Steven Bennet, master, and the 
Elizabeth (50 tons) under the command of Jonas Poole, who 
was to pilot both vessels. The Alary Margaret was 
equipped for the whale-fishery ; and by the advice of 
Woodcock, mate of the Amitie in the previous voyage, six 
Biscayers, " men of Saint John de Luz," who knew how to 
kill whales, were shipped. They were " to be used very 
kindly and friendly during this their voyage " ; but the 
English sailors were to take note how the Biscayers went 
to work and "to observe and diligently put in practise the 
executing of that businesse of striking the whale as well as 
they," and to learn to recognise the different kinds of 
whales. Why Woodcock, whose advice was thus taken, 
was not himself employed does not appear. He took his 
revenge by hiring himself to and piloting an interloping 
ship from Hull. 

Thomas Edge was sent as factor in the Mary Margaret, 
but with general charge over the cargoes in both vessels. 
He had already been sent twice to Bear Island by the 
Company. The first time (1608) the voyage failed "by 
reason of one Duppers going thither, together with certaine 
men of Hull, glutting the said place," whilst the second 
time was the unfavourable season of 1609. Edge is put in 
mind of these losses by the Company, not that he is to 
blame for them, but "to the intent to incourage and stirre 
up your minde to doe your uttermost indevour to further 
the businesse in this your third imployment." His Com- 
mission contains the following good advice which explorers 
of all times may take to heart. 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1631-33, p. 92. In the Calendar of 
State Papers the word Spitsbergen seldom occurs. Throughout the 17th and 
1 8th centuries that country was almost always called Greenland, a fact unknown 
to the Calendar editors, who never distinguish between Spitsbergen and the 
real Greenland, but include both under the one name, Greenland, in the 

CH. V. 

44 Plans for 1611 

" Inasmuch as industrie and diligence are two principall 
steps to atchieve great enterprises, and negligence and idle- 
nesse are enemies to the same ; we would have you in this 
charge committed unto you, to imbrace the one, and to 
avoide the other : and to shew that example of paines 
taking to the rest of the company of your ship in your owne 
person, as well in setting them on work, as in putting your 
owne hand to the businesse when neede requireth, as that 
there be no idle time spent, but that every one be imployed 
in some businesse or other 1 ." 

Poole in the Elizabeth, was to pilot both ships to Whales 
Bay, a general name for Close Cove, Deer Sound (King's 
Bay), and Sir Thomas Smith Bay (Foreland Sound). 
There he was to stay "the killing of a whale, or two or 
three, for your better experience hereafter to expedite that 
businesse," and then to go northward for discovery. For, 
says his Commission, " we are desirous not only to discover 
farther to the north along the said land " — i.e. Spitsbergen, 
north of Hakluyt's Headland — "to find whether the same 
be an Hand or a Mayne, and which way the same doth 
trend either to the eastward or to the westward of the pole, 
as also whether the same be inhabited by any people, or 
whether there be an open sea further northward then hath 
beene alreadie discovered." In his exploration Poole was 
to pick up whalebone and to kill walruses, and when the 
time came for a return he was, if possible, to rejoin the 
Mary Margaret. They were to boil their blubber down 
either on Spitsbergen or Bear Island before sailing home, 
and to this end they took out the necessary coppers, barrels, 
etc. These coppers were, in fact, the forerunners of the 
whaling establishments or cookeries which sprang up on 
the coast of Spitsbergen a year or two later, and in the case 
of Smeerenburg, grew almost to the dimensions of a town. 

Finally, says the Commission, " for the avoyding of an 
objection heretofore used, that the want of sufficient vic- 
tuals hath beene the cause of the overthrow of the voyages 
by speedier returne home then otherwise they would, wee 
have thought fit to set downe the quantitie of victuals 
delivered aboord your ship," which were estimated as suffi- 

1 Purchas his Pilgrimes, Vol. III. p. 710. 

The Expedition starts 45 

cient to last for seven or eight months. Besides "beef, 
biscuit, fish, cheese, butter, oyle, peas, oat-meal, and candles," 
they include " 14 tunnes of beer, 30 gallons of Aquavitae, 
and 20 gallons of vinegar." 

The expedition thus elaborately prepared proved a 
disastrous failure. The ships sailed from Blackwall on the 
7th of April, called at Bear Island on the 13th of May, and 
anchored in Cross Road on the 29th of the same month. 
Cr^ss Road (Ebeltoft Haven) was in fact the first centre 
of the whale-fishery and the earliest English harbour in 
Spitsbergen. It is curious that its very name should have 
been forgotten (or rather transferred to the larger Close 
Cove in which it lay) so that Nordenskiold thought the 
haven nameless and christened it anew after a member of 
his own party. Here is certainly an instance where the 
old name should be revived. Poole and Edge remained in 
the road till the 16th of June, setting up their "shalops " or 
whale-boats and ranging the coast. Ice then drove them 
to sea and sunk one of the shallops. Poole now sailed 
westward along the edge of the pack 120 leagues, and 
reckoned that he must be near the part of Greenland named 
by Hudson Hold-with-Hope. He "saw abundance of 
whales by the sides of the ice." Thence he sailed east and 
made Bear Island on the 29th. On July 12th he killed 
about 200 walruses there. Eleven days were spent skin- 
ning and flensing them. On the 25th, seeing men on Bear 
Island, he again landed and met Edge, Bennet, and in all 
thirty of the Mary Margaret's crew, who had come in 
three boats from Whales Bay, where their ship had been 
driven ashore by ice and lost 1 . They had been compelled 
to leave on the east shore of Whales Bay, doubtless in 
Cove Comfortless, the blubber of some 500 walruses re- 
cently killed which they were engaged in boiling down 
when the accident happened. Two other shallops, contain- 
ing the remainder of the Mary Margaret ' s crew, had started 
with them. As afterwards appeared, they met Marma- 
duke's interloping ship of Hull off Horn Sound and in- 
duced him to go back with them and salvage the cargo of 
the wreck. 

1 The wreck doubtless took place close to, or in, the small Cove Comfortless, 
now called English Bay. »%*fa» 

CH. V. 


i>» ... 

46 The Voyage of 1 6 1 1 

Meanwhile, at Bear Island, Poole landed most of his 
cargo and two shallops and sailed for the wreck on the 
26th. He reached Black Point, the south cape of Charles 
Foreland, on the 31st, and commenced sailing up Foreland 
Sound. But, relates Poole, " when I was almost through, 
and in sight of that place where the Mary Margaret lyeth 
sunke, I could not find water enough for the ship, yet was 
I told there was enough by divers" — i.e. of the Mary 
Margaret 's crew — " that had gone that way in shallops. 
Here we stayed two dayes to buoy the channell, which is 
shoald and narrow, for we had at three quarters floud but 
eleven foot of water." This is the shallow, called the Bar, 
which turned Barents back in 1596. The depth at this 
point is almost exactly the same to-day, so that here at any 
rate the land has not risen in the last three centuries, unless 
the action of tides, storms, and ice dredges the channel and 
keeps it open. 

On August 3rd Poole got over and anchored by the 
wreck and found there the ship Hopewell of Hull, Thomas 
Marmaduke being master. Nicholas Woodcock had piloted 
him up. It is stated that Marmaduke sailed "all along the 
coast " of Spitsbergen this year, but did not try to kill 
whales 1 . Marmaduke's men had killed 130 walruses, which 
Poole had already located, intending to kill them for his 
employers. Poole and Edge now landed their caldron 
and blubber and set to work to boil it down into train-oil. 
"Wee followed our worke till the seventh of August at 
noone, at which time having Oyle by the ships side, we put 
out all the blubber which was in hold, save two tuns and a 
halfe, supposing the ship had balast enough in her, for 
there was above twelve tuns of hides, which were the 
chiefest cause of the losse of the ship, and nine tunnes 
of Oyle and above seven tunnes of ballast a hogs-head and 
a barrell of teeth : besides halfe a tunne of stones, all which 
was about nine and twentie tunne weight, and to any 
impartiall mans judgment, sufficient to shift a Barke of 
sixtie tunnes. But as the last But went out of her, the 
ship began to held, and withall a great many men went to 
leeward, there being at that time about forty aboard. Then 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 497 (1643), No. 68. 

A Ship lost 47 

the hides which lay in hold slid to leeward, and brought her 
altogether downe, then every man made shift to save his 
life, and I being farre from the hatches, could not get up so 
soone as others did. At which time I saw death before 
mine eyes two waves* one if I stayed in hold, I was sure to 
be drowned : the other if I went up the hatches, I was in 
election to be slaine ; for downe at the hatches fell hog- 
heads of beere and divers other things, the least of them 
being sufficient to beate a mans bones, and in attempting 
to get up, I was beaten down twice and hurt. But it was 
not the will of God to take my life from mee then, but to 
revive me, to plucke me even from the jawes of Death, and 
by swimming and crawling I got into the Sea cleere of the 
ship where a boat tooke me up, and blessed bee God, no 
man perished at that so dangerous an accident. We being 
all got into three boats, went to the Hull ship, where we 
found but small comfort : for Duke told us plainly, wee 
should not come aboard his ship and caused Billes and 
launces to bee brought to keepe us out. Then Master 
Edge and divers others desired him to let mee come 
aboard, which hee did, and with much adoe I got aboard, 
having mine head broke to the skull, and my brow that 
one might see the bare bones, and by mine eare I had a 
sore wound, like wise the ribs on my right side were all 
broken and sore bruised, and the collar bone of my left 
shoulder is broken, besides my backe was so sore, that I 
could not suffer any man to touch it." 

Purchas omits the remainder of Jonas Poole's story, 
" being further accusation of Marmaduke " and inserts in- 
stead the account written by his brother Randolph Poole, 
from which it appears that Marmaduke did not behave so 
badly but took all the crew on board and such of their 
freight as could be saved, charging indeed five pounds a ton 
to carry it to Hull, as he was surely entitled to do. All 
indications tend to prove that Cove Comfortless was the 
site of this accident and was probably named in memory of 
it. The discoveries of the year 1611 are included in the 
chart drawn by the Englishman John Daniel in 1612 and 
reproduced by Hessel Gerrits of Amsterdam in 16 13. 

On August 19th Marmaduke sailed for England with 
99 men on board his small ship, and on the 6th of Sep- 

ch. v. 

4-8 The Voyage of 1612 

tember they arrived off Hull, "safely and well in body, but 
much distressed and impayred in our states." The only 
favourable result of the voyage was the fact, of which we 
are informed by Edge, that the Biscayers killed a whale 
which yielded 12 tons of oil, the first "whale killed and the 
first train-oil ever made in Spitsbergen. In 16 r 1, therefore, 
the whale-fishery of Spitsbergen was definitely founded by 
the enterprise of the Muscovy Company of London. 

Far from being deterred by the misfortunes of this 
voyage the Muscovy Company fitted out two larger ships 
for the whale-fishery in 161 2, namely the Whale (160 tons) 
and the Sea-horse (180 tons). Jonas Poole and Thomas 
Edge were again employed, also one John Russell. The 
harpooners were Basques as before. Edge says that 
"they discovered that yeere nothing worth writing of, by 
reason of some falling out betwixt Russell and Edge ; yet 
they killed that yeere seventeen whales, and some sea- 
horses, of which they made 180 tunnes of oyle with much 
difficultie ; as not being experimented in the businesse." 
The ships sailed from Blackwall on the 7th of April and 
anchored off Bear Island on the 3rd of May. Thence 
they sailed for Cross Road as before. Three of Poole's 
men died towards the end of May, of what disease is not 
stated. During the course of the voyage the English sailors 
began to acquire some knowledge of how to attack the 

A crew of five English and one Basque were very 
successful, for " there was not one whale killed with one 
boate alone, save ours, with all English save the Baske 
aforesaid, which slue three without the helpe of any other 
boate." This made the other Basques angry "because by 
their good wills they would not have us to have any insight 
into this businesse." The supply of whales appeared 
unlimited. One day, writes Poole, "the whales lay so 
thicke about the ship that some ran against our cables, 
some against the ship, and one against the rudder. One 
lay under our beake-head and slept there a long while. 
At which time our carpenter had hung a stage close by the 
water, whereon his tooles lay. And wee durst not molest 
the said whale for feare he should have overthrowne the 
stage and drowned all his tooles. In the end he went 

Foreign Interlopers 49 

away, and carried the ships head round, his taile being 
foule of the cable." 

This year, notwithstanding their charter from the Privy 
Council, the Muscovy Company's ships did not have the 
fishery to themselves. 

" The Hollanders (to keepe their wont in following of 
the English steps) came to Greenland {i.e. Spitsbergen) 
with one ship being brought thither by an English man, 
and not out of any knowledge of their own discoveries, but 
by the direction of one Allen Sallowes 1 , a man imployed by 
the Muscovia Companie in the Northerne Seas for the 
space of twentie yeeres before ; who leaving his country 
for debt, was entertayned by the Hollanders, and imployed 
by them to bring them to Greenland for their Pylot. At 
which time being met withall by the Companies Ships, 
they were commanded to depart, and forbidden to haunt, 
or frequent those parts any more by mee Thomas Edge. 
There was also a Spanish ship from San Sebastian, brought 
thither by one Nicholas Woodcocke this yeere, a man 
formerly imployed by the said Companie ; which Spanish 
ship made a full voyage in Green-harbour. But Woode- 
cocke at his returne into England, being complained of by 
the Companie, was imprisoned in the Gatehouse and Tower, 
sixteene moneths, for carrying the Spanish ship thither." 
The report of this successful voyage and the "full cargo" 
of the Biscay ship is stated to have been the cause of the 
great inroad of foreign interlopers on Spitsbergen waters 
in 1 6 1 3. 

The captain of the Dutch ship was Willem van Muijden 
or Muijen, after whom the little bay, just outside Axel 
Island, in the N. coast of Bell Sound takes its name. It 
is characteristic of the blundering in Spitsbergen nomen- 
clature, that this name, misspelt Van Mijen, should have 
been removed from its proper place and transferred to the 

1 It may be regarded as certain that Sallows took with him the Muscovy 
Company's first Spitsbergen chart, which Gerrits states to have been drawn 
in London in 1612 {i.e. in the winter of 1611-12), and contains the information 
obtained by the expeditions of 1610 and 161 1. It was published by Hessel 
Gerrits in his Histoire du pays nommi Spitsberghe. The draughtsman was 
John Daniel. It is recorded in Roe's Journal (Hakluyt Soc. edition, Vol. I. p. 3) 
that the East India Company's ships in 1613 used "a platte of John Danyells 
making being Mercator's projection" for the voyage to the Cape. 

C. CH. V. 4 

50 The Voyage of 1612 

large northern branch of Bell Sound, whose proper name 
is Low Sound. The supercargo of the Dutchman was one 
Kijn. He tried to climb a high hill on Charles Foreland 
but missed his footing, fell, and broke his neck. The 
south cape of the Foreland was called Kijnnaes (Kyn Ness) 
after him by the Dutch, and the Foreland itself Kyn 
Island. It is possible that after the Dutch had been sent 
away by the English they did some exploration to the 
northward ; a statement to that effect appears in the Coorte 
Deductie of the Dutch Noordsche Company of 1624. An 
earlier and obviously false account says that they sailed 
beyond &t>° N. and found an open sea bordered by grassy 
lands 1 ." 

Besides the foreigners there were two English inter- 
lopers, regarded by the Company's men with almost as 
much hostility. They were the Diana of London, " whereof 
one Thomas Bastion dwelling at Wapping Wall was Master," 
and the Hopewell of Hull, again commanded by Thomas 

Poole met both vessels in Foreland Sound. Early in 
June Marmaduke sailed away northward. He carried off 
the post and arms set up by Barents at Fairhaven, and he 
explored "as far as 82 degrees, two degress beyond Hak- 
luyts Headland" according to Poole 2 . Of this exploration 
we only know that Marmaduke visited Red Beach, and 
that one of his men, named Laurence Prestwood, landed at 
Grey Hook on August 17th and set up a cross with his 
name and the date, which cross Fotherby saw in 1614 3 . 
This was probably the limit of the voyage. 

1 Muller, N. Co. pp. 166, 167. 

2 Admiral Markham suggests that this statement is erroneous. Hudson in 
the Hopewell was believed, as we have seen, to have explored up to 82 in 
1607. It is not improbable that a confusion arose between the doings of the 
Hopeivells. The actual fact is that Marmaduke went further than Hudson. 

3 Vide Hakluyt Society's Baffin, pp. 90, 93. 



During the winter of 1612-1613 great preparations 
were made, both in England and abroad, for the exploita- 
tion of the new whale-fishery. The Muscovy Company, 
determined if possible to secure a monopoly of it, obtained 
a charter from King James I, giving them all they desired, 
and excluding from the fisheries all other persons whatsoever 
whether English or aliens 1 . Six different accounts of the 
fishery in the summer of 161 3 have come down, enabling 
us to follow the doings of almost every day. Purchas 
prints a brief note by Thomas Edge and a longer journal 
by William Baffin. Immediately after the return of the 
fleet. Hessel Gerrits, the Amsterdam geographer, published 
an important and now very rare pamphlet in French, 
recounting its ill-treatment at the hands of the Company's 
servants 2 . But the most picturesque account, from which 
I shall quote at some length, is one existing in MS. in the 
Library of the American Antiquarian Society, written (there 
seems little doubt) by Robert Fotherby 3 . There exists 
besides in the British Museum a MS. entitled " A briefe 
Narration of the Discoverie of the Northerne Seas and the 
Coasts and Countries of those parts as it was first begunn 

1 Record Office Sign Man. Vol. 13, No. 10; Grant Book, pp. 117, 128 
(30th March, 1613). 

- Histoire du pays nonunc Spitsberghe, etc., Amsterdam, 161 3, 4to. A 
translation of it is included in the present author's Spitsbergen volume, pub- 
lished by the Hakluyt Society in 1904. 

3 Printed in the Transactions and Collections of the American Archaeological 
Society, Vol. IV. (i860), p. 285 ; and reprinted by the Hakluyt Society in a 
volume entitled The Voyages of William Baffin, edited by C. R. Markham, 
London, 1881, Svo. 

CH. VI. 4 — 2 

52 The Troubles in 1613 

and continewed by the singular Industrie and charge of the 
Company of Muscovie Merchants of London 1 ." This 
contains an account of the events of 161 3 in Spitsbergen, 
whilst a similar relation from the Dutch point of view is in 
the Coorte Deductie end Remonstrantie of 1624 printed by 
Muller 2 . 

The English fleet consisted of seven vessels under the 
command of Benjamin Joseph, "a man very sufficient and 
worthy of his place." With him were associated Thomas 
Marmaduke (the Hull interloper of the previous year), 
William Baffin, Robert Fotherby, Thomas Edge, and 
other officers. The ships were the Tiger (250 tons), which 
was the Admiral and carried 21 guns 3 , the Matthew (250 
tons) V ice-Admiral, the Gamaliel or Sea-Horse (200 tons) 
Rear-Admiral, the Desire (180 tons), the Annula (140 tons), 
the Richard and Barnard (60 tons), and the John and 
Francis (180 tons). Joseph and Baffin were on board the 
Tiger, Fotherby on the Matthew. The Richard and 
Barnard was intended for discovery, the Tiger for pro- 
tection ; all the others were for the whale-fishery. Four- 
and-twenty expert Basque whalers accompanied these 

Fortified by the arguments of Grotius in his newly 
published work, Mare Liberum, and stimulated by the 
information acquired during the previous season by the 
skipper Willem Van Muyden, the Dutch adventurers were 
no whit behindhand with their preparations. The mer- 
chants of Amsterdam fitted out two ships for Van Muyden, 
and hired twelve Basques to serve under him, whereof 
three were harpooners, three whale-boat captains, the re- 
mainder experts at flensing whales and boiling down blubber 4 . 
Enkhuisen sent a ship with the Englishman Thomas Bonner 5 
for master and pilot, and 20 English seamen in the crew. 
Zaardam despatched two sloops for walrus hunting only ; 

1 Add. 14027, f. 172, and a modern copy, Add. 33837, f. 70. 

2 N. Co. p. 394. See also the "Request" of the Amsterdam Adventurers 
to the States General printed in Wassenaer, VIII. f. 88. 

3 The Spanish writer Madoz (ix. p. 163) says that two of the English ships 
were armed. 

4 The master of the second Amsterdam ship was not Mossel, as stated in 
Gerrits' text, but corrected in an erratum. He was Jan Jacobsz. Vrijer. 

5 Gerrits calls him Bonaert. 

Many foreign Interlopers 53 

whilst Dunkerque hired two Dutch vessels, the larger 
commanded by one Fopp, the smaller a "pincke" or pinnace 1 
of Hoorn, with Claas Martin for master. Van Muyden 
was provided with "a Commission granted by the Grave 
Maurice for to fish in " Spitsbergen, an offset against the 
Muscovy Company's charter from King James. Nor were 
these all the interlopers of the year. According to Edge 
there were four English vessels ; perhaps he counted in 
those piloted by Sallows and Bonner. But only one 
interloper is recorded as actually sailing from an English 
port, the Desire of Aldborough, whose master was named 
Fletcher and her supercargo Cudner of London. 

Fired by accounts of the successful voyage made in 
161 2 by the ship of San Sebastian, the ports of the Bay of 
Biscay, old centres of the whale-fishery, likewise prepared 
to claim a share in the new trade. From San Sebastian 
itself went forth eight vessels, one of them the ship that 
Woodcock had piloted up the previous year; St Jean de 
Luz fitted out a great ship of from 700 to 800 tons, a 
smaller ship, and a pinnace. Bordeaux sent the Jacques 
(200 tons) with the absconding bankrupt Allen Sallows 2 
for pilot. La Rochelle was represented by a ship be- 
longing to Hoorn, hired on behalf of the merchant Jean 
Macqui, and by "another small shippe." One of the 
St Jean de Luz ships had permission from the Muscovy 
Company to fish under a royalty agreement. All the 
others went up to try and break down the Company's 

The English fleet sailed from Queenborough on the 
13th ot May and came in sight of the southern parts of 
Spitsbergen on the 30th of the same month 3 . Proceeding 
northward they spoke next day the authorized ship of 
St Jean de Luz as well as Sallows' ship, but we shall come 
later to the adventures of the foreigners. " Then," says 
Fotherby, "we plied nearer to the shoare, and discerned the 
mountains to be covered with snowe, notwithstanding, wee 

1 A pinnace was a long, light, narrow vessel, with a crew of about 25 men. 
Pere Fourmier believes this type of vessel to have been of Biscay origin. 

2 Gerrits writes the name Silly and Selly, Baffin writes it Sallas. 

3 So say both Baffin and Fotherby. Edge (as printed by Purchas III. 466) 
makes them sail from Gravesend on April 26th, and reach Spitsbergen on 
May 14th. 

CH. VI. 

54 The Troubles in 1613 

had no trouble with ice all this while, as wee expected ; for it 
was almost all avoided er wee came ther. Nowe wee coasted 
along towards Sr Thomas Smyth's Baye, passing on the 
west side of Prince Charles his Hand. ...The 1st of June 
wee were becalmed on the south-west side of the Hand, 

about five leagues from the shoare The 2nd of June, 

haveing gotten a little more northward, and beeing on the 
west side of the iland, againe becalm'd, about three leagues 
distant from the shoare, I and Joh. Wilmote, one of the 
master's mates, with 6 more of our sailors, went ashore in 
a Biska shallop (whale-boat), purposeing to kill some deare 
and some wild fowle ; and to that end wee took with us 
such dogs as wee had in our ship, viz. a grewhound, a 
mastiffe, and a water spaniell, and two fowleing-pieces, 
with shott and powder. We landed upon a hard shingle, 
comeing close to the shoare with our boat, there being no 
ice to keep us off; notwithstanding upon five or six rocks, 
near the shore side, there laie a great quantitie of ice, which 
covered them in such sorte, that the hollowness or distances 
betwixt one rock and another, appeared under the ice like 
vaulted caves. After that wee were landed upon the 
shingle, the ice or congealed snowe was so high upon the 
shoare, that it withstood us like a strong wall, to pass anie 
further ; wherefore wee wer faine one to help up another, it 
beeing more than a man's height in thickness, and haveing 
manie long isicles hanging in divers places. When wee 
were up, and had gone about two roods, wee might per- 
ceave that wee were upon the ground or sand ; yett could 
not see it by reason of the snowe. Then wee did look 
about if we could see any deere ; and presentlie espied one 
buck, whereupon we dispersed ourselves severall waies, to 
gett betwixt him and the mountaines, slipping sometimes to 
the mid leg into the snowe, which, for the most part, did 
beare us above. In our waie wee went over two or three 
bare spots that were full of flatt stones, whereon ther grew 
a certaine white mosse, which, it seems, the deare doe feed 
upon at the first beginning of their somer ; for theise spotts 
were full of their ordure ; and beside, wee then sawe not 
any other thing for them to live on. Before that wee came 
near the buck which wee first espied, wee sawe, four more 
not farre from him, and two in another place, and therefore 

The English Harbour 55 

we hounded at the fairest heard ; but then they came all 
one waie together, and (avoiding all circumstances) we 
kill'd three of them, being all bucks, which wee found then 
to be but pore rascles, yet verie good meat, as we presentlie 
made tryall and tasted. For, finding ther (as ther is in all 
places of the countreye) great store of driftwood, which 
the sea bestowes on the barren land, and being also well 
provided of hunter's sauce, wee made a fier and broiled 
some of our venison, and did eat thereof with very good 

Next day they sailed round the Fair Foreland and 
anchored in Sir Thomas Smith's Bay, that is to say in 
the north end of Foreland Sound. The position of the 
anchorage is not recorded. Gerrits says it was where the 
ship sank in 161 2. Fotherby's account of the gale that 
blew on the 19th of June proves that it was near the east 
shore, for that gale was from S.S.W. He says it "was 
like to have driven our ships upon the shoare ; and haveing 
three dead whales floating at the sternes of our ships, wee 
were glad to cut the hawsers that they were tyed in, and to 
lett them drive a shoare ; because we feared that otherwise 
they would have caused our ships either to break their 
cables, or to haile home their anchors, and to be driven 
upon the shoare." If we look for the most likely anchorage 
in the direction thus indicated, we can scarcely fail to 
choose the cove now known as English Bay, but whose 
true and original name was " Cove Comfortlesse." 

From Gerrits we learn that the English set up their 
tents and coppers on both sides of the strait where they 
avoyent encore le?irs loges de Panne'e passe'e. The Basques 
were at once sent off in the whale-boats to Fair Foreland 
and immediately killed a whale, though, according to Gerrits, 
they merely stole one previously killed by an interloper. 
" We presentlie began work," says Fotherby, " which we 
continued (God be thanked) without any want of whales, 
till our voyage was made ; not receaveing anie intermission 
of rest, but onlie on the Saboth daie. For when some slept, 
others wrought ; and haveing a continual daie, wee alowed 

no time of night for all men to sleepe at once, but our 

men receaved no other recreation from work and sleep, but 
onlie the time of eateing their meat, whereof they had 

CH. VI. 

56 The Troubles in 1613 

sufficient, thrice in every 24 howers." While the crews 
were thus employed Fotherby made one or two expeditions 
to fetch wood and to prospect for walrus. Once when 
they were towing a big piece of timber behind their boat 
"there came five or six morses swimming hard by us and 
about us ; some of them coming so near the sterne of the 
bote that we called for our launces, purposing to strike 
them. They would, divers times, laie their teeth upon the 
tree which we towed (as it were scratching the wood with 
their teeth), but wee still rowed awaie and at length they 
left us." During the season they killed at this place "verie 
fewe deare, notwithstanding ther have been slaine in this 
country, this voyage, about 400 deare. Wee kil'd very 
few morses, by reason the whales came so fast, that wee 
could not have a fitt opportunity to goe about that buisines 

We killed also good store of wild fowle Wee 

caught manie young foxes, which wee made as tame and 

familiar as spaniell-whelpes On the 24th of June the 

Matthew began to take in hir ladeing, and was fully 
freighted the 6th of July with 184 tonnes of oyle, and 
5000 finnes." On the 8th of July she and the Richard 
and Barnard (likewise laden) sailed with the Tiger for Bell 
Sound on their way home. The Desire joined them there 
and sailed with them on the 31st, leaving the other four 
vessels to follow. 

Whilst the Matthew was at anchor in Joseph (Recherche) 
Bay Fotherby made the first recorded glacier expedition in 
Spitsbergen. "Purposing," he writes, "to walk towards 
the mountaines, I, and two more of my companie, ascended 
up a long plaine hill, as wee supposed it to be " — it was 
probably the Fox glacier — "but having gon a while upon 
it, wee perceved higher up, about the length of half a 
mile, and as we went, manie deepe rifts or gutters {i.e. 
crevasses) on the land of ice, which were crackt downe 
thorowe to the ground, or, at the least, an exceeding great 
depth ; as we might well perceive by heareing the snowe 
water run belowe, as it does oftentimes, in a brook whose 
current is somewhat opposed with little stones. But for 
better satisfaction, I brake down some peeces of ice with a 
staffe I had in my hand, which, in their falling made a 
noise on each side, much like to a peice of glasse throwen 

A Glacier Expedition 57 

downe the well within Dover Castle, wherby wee did 
estimate the thicknes or height of this ice to be thirty 
fathomes. This huge ice, in my opinion, is nothing but 
snowe, which from time to time has, for the most part bene 
driven off the mountaines; and so continueing and increasing 
all the time of winter (which may be counted three quarters 
of the yeare), cannot possiblie be consumed with the thawe 
of so short a sommer, but is onelie a little dissolved to 
moisture, whereby it becomes more compact, and with the 
quick succeeding frost is congealed to a firme ice. And 
thus it is like still to encrease, as (I think) it hath done 
since the world's creation." 

The English ships that at their first arrival had 
anchored in Sir Thomas Smith's Bay were the Tiger, the 
Matthew, the Annula, and the John and Francis. The 
Gamaliel, the Desire, and the Richard and Barnard made 
their rendezvous at Ice Sound, where they first put into the 
bay which in that or the previous year was named by the 
Dutch Behouden (safe) Haven 1 , whilst the English called it 
Niches Cove, Port Nick, and Poopy Bay indifferently. On 
the 9th of June these ships crossed to Green Harbour, 
where most of them " made their voyage." The Tiger at 
once set to work on her business as police ship. At Fair 
Foreland she captured a Dunkerque whale-boat with two 
Englishmen and one Scot on board, who were promptly 
impressed into the Company's service. Then (June 5th) she 
sailed away and "did continue as a wafter alongst the coast 
till the 27th of June," says Fotherby, "and then he came 
to us againe into Sir Thomas Smyth's Baye. In which time 
of his absence he had mett with 17 ships, viz., 4 of Holland, 
2 of Dunkerk, 4 of St John de Luz, and 7 of San Sebastian. 
The commanders of all those ships had submitted to our 
general ; and were content either to departe out of the 
country, or els to staie upon such condicions as he pro- 
pounded unto them." 

We now proceed to disentangle from the four narra- 
tives the adventures and troubles of these foreign ships. 
Gerrits says that the two Amsterdam ships, piloted by 
Willem Van Muyden, were the first to arrive and that they 

1 Possibly with reference to the fact that the Biscay ship made a full cargo 
there in 1611 notwithstanding the English. 

CH. VI. 

58 The Troubles in 1613 

were found by the English in Sir Thomas Smith's Bay 1 . 
The English narratives however precisely state that it was 
in Niches Cove on the 6th of June that the Tiger found 
them and two other ships. Notwithstanding " Grave 
Maurice's Commission" Joseph ordered them away and 
they promised " that they would depart this coast, having 
our general's ticket to show to their adventurers that they 
were there, and had made their port, and how he would not 
suffer them to fish." On the 9th of June they were in 
Green Harbour, on the 10th the Tiger saw them again 
riding at anchor in the entrance of Low Sound, that is to 
say at the anchorage outside Axel Island in the north 
coast of Bell Sound, which for 200 years afterwards was 
known, and ought still to be known, as Willem Van 
Muyden Haven. The Tiger, being then alone, appears to 
have felt unequal to tackling the two ships, so left them for 
the time. The Dutch presently crossed to the fine bay 
opposite, to which they gave the name Schoonhoven, while 
the English called it Joseph Bay after their admiral 2 . Van 
Muyden determined to hold this bay against all comers, 
but the 800 ton ship of St Jean de Luz, presently coming in 
he thought better of it, and, as the Spanish captain 
afterwards related, " insulted over him, and would not 
suffer him to fish for the whale but upon such condicions 
as they propounded unto him, namely, that the Hollanders 
having but 3 shallops, and he 7 furnished with whale 
strikers, they should all joine together ; and the Hollanders 
not onlie to have the one-half of all the whales that should 
be kil'd, but also to have the first whale that was stricken 
wholie to themselves, over and besides the half of the rest. 
And he further tould the general (Joseph) that the Hol- 
landers would have persuaded him to combine with them 
against us, and to beate us out of the countrye." Here 
accordingly, in Joseph Bay, the Dutch and Biscay ships 3 

1 According to the Coorte Deductie one went to Bell Sound, the other to 
Horn Sound ; this was not strictly true. 

2 It is now commonly called Recherche Bay. 

3 There was a little Biscayer as well as the big one, and "a Flemish flie 
boat" (one of the Zaardam boats, perhaps), "besides another little pinace of 
St John de Luz which was on the east side of the iland (now Eders 1.) within 
Lord Elesmere Baye." Lord Elesmere Bay is therefore the original name of 
the south-east branch of Bell Sound. At that time, according to Gerrits, it was 

Van Muyden overpowered 59 

were found on the 1 ith of July by the Tiger, the Matthew 
and the Richard and Barnard, the last two being on their 
way home. The Michael de Aristega, says Fotherby, 
" seemed unto us to be a verie great ship, as indeed she 
was " ; the two Dutchmen " seemed also to be good stowt 
ships. And therefore wee, supposing them to be such as 
would withstand us, resolved to feight with them, and made 
spedie preparation accord inglie hanging our waist-cloths 
and clearing our decks, that the ordnance might have room 
to plaie ; and made readie all our munition, ech one ad- 
dressing himself with a forward resolucion to perform a 
man's parte so well as he could. This was about 9 o'clock, 
before the time of midnight, the sunne shining very bright, 
and the aire being very cleare, and so calme that wee 
caused ye saylers with boats and shallops to rowe ahead of 
our ships, and towe them into the harbour. When wee 
came neare them, the captain of the great ship whose name 
was Michael de Aristega (his ship being of St John de Luz, 
of burthen 800 tonnes), came in a shallop abord our admirall, 
submitting himself and his goods unto our generall, and 
tould him " the above story as to how he had been handled 
by Van Muyden. "Then the generall willed him to goe 
aboard againe of his own ship, and keepe his men in quiet- 
ness and he would deale well enough with the Hollanders. 
So, passing further on, they were knowen to be 2 ships of 
Amsterdam, which our admirall had formerlie met withall, 
and dischardged to staie in ye country. Then, comeing by 
close to them, our admirall anchored on one side of them 
and our vice-admirall on the other ; but they, as men 
unwilling to be deprived of the ritches they had gotten, 
although unable by force to hold them, kept out their 
flags — the one in the maine-top, and the other in the fore- 
top, as admirall and vice-admirall. Then our generall 
commanded the maisters to come aboard his ship, which 
they doeing, he chardged them with the breach of their 
promise formerlie made unto him — viz., that they would 

known to the Basques as "la baye des Franchoys a cause qui celle nation y 
estoit la plus part." The Dutch whalers called it Zaardam Bay. The modern 
chart-name Van Keulen Bay is wrong. It first appears on Giles and Rep's 
big chart (of after 1707), where, as Van Keulen's Baaytje, it is applied to 
a minor bay in the N. coast of Zaardam Bay (which is there wrongly named 
Michiel Ryners Rivier). 

CH. VI. 

60 The Troubles in 1613 

departe out of the country. Then, after some other 
speeches, he, not finding them willing to resigne the goods 
they had gotten — as whale oil and finnes — tould them that 
they must not think to carrie anie of it awaie, seeing that 
they did so sleightlie esteeme the King's ma'ties grant 
formerlie shewed them ; therefore, he bad them go again e 
to their own ships, and they should have half an hower's 
space to consider and advise with themselves what to doe ; 
and if they thought fitt to give him further answer before 
the glasse were runne out, then good it were ; otherwise, if 
they would not then yield their goods, he would feight with 
them for them. So ech of them went aboard his own ship, 
and, without anie long deliberation caused their flags to be 
taken in ; and retourning to our generall, yielded their 
goods to our disposing. Nowe, although it was intended 
that our two laded ships should go presentlie for England, 
notwithstanding it was thought fitting not to leave our 
admirall alone amongst his offended neighbours ; and there- 
fore, wee staied till the two Hollanders were gon, who 
(being dispossessed of some oile and finnes they had 
alreadie stowed in their ships, and also of some dead 
whales that were floateing at their ship's side) 1 went forth 
of harbour one of them the 15th and the other the 18th 
of July." 

Van Muyden still hung about the coast of Spitsbergen, 
and sent his shallops ashore to pick up what they could. 
In all they had the good luck to acquire 400 "beards" 
of whalebone drifted up on the beach. But bad luck 
pursued him, for one day six of his men thus landing at 
high water, " made fast their shallop, and so left her, safe 
enough, as they supposed, and went up into the land ; but 
when the water fell againe, the shallop was splitt upon a 
rock." A second crew sent to seek the first found them, 
but in the thick and stormy weather that followed could 
not again find the ship, so that Van Muyden sailed home 
without them. The abandoned crew of eleven men lived 
for eight clays on two bucks and a bear which they killed 
with their last ammunition. They then fortunately found 
the Desire sailing homeward. 

1 Gerrits says that Joseph took i8| whales from Van Muyden, and gave him 
as a present 20 pipes of oil and 21 "beards" of whalebone. 

Bonner s Misfortunes 61 

The story is thus related 1 in a contemporary letter, 
from Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Rochester. "Our shipps 
in their retourne found a Shallop with eleven men in her 
which did belong to the Admiral of the Dutch fleet, which 
lost their shipp in a fogg and were wandering up and downe 
eleven dayes haveing only two days victuall when they 
departed from their shipp, and being at the pointe of death 
by famishing, our men tooke them in and saved their lives, 
and brought hither to London and have given them mony 
to transport them in to their owne Countrie." 

Thomas Bonner, the English pilot of the Enkhuizen 
ship, was no more fortunate than Van Muyden. To begin 
with he left six men to kill walruses on Bear Island, but 
during the whole season they only killed one. Then the 
Tiger found him on June 13th along with three or four 
other ships at anchor in Boules Bay 2 of Horn Sound. 
Joseph sent for Bonner to come aboard, but he refused 
to do so. "Our generall," says Baffin, "commanded our 
Qunner to shoot at him, he himself discharging the second 
ordnance. Then presently he began to set saile, and cut 
his cable thinking to get from us ; but wee having shot him 
through three or foure times, they began to weare us, so 
we sent our shallop and he came aboord. There were five 
or sixe more of the English men fetched aboord, and some 
of our men sent to bring her to an anchor, where she might 
ride safe, for shee was almost run ashoare. Next day the 
ship was taken over and kept for the use of the Com- 
panie . 

The Dutch account states that the English used the 
tent and equipment of the Dutch ship, and lading the ship, 
took her to England with them and only there set her free. 
It seems that Marmaduke was put in command of her and 

1 State Papers, Dojnestic, James I, Vol. XL. No. 38, p. 534. 

2 Later called Goose Haven. 

3 Quite naturally Bonner did not go home with any very favourable 
reminiscences of Spitsbergen. Chance has preserved a fragment of a letter 
written by him to his father, in which he says, "This is the worst and coldest 
region of the world, everywhere cliffs, mountains and rocks. The quantity of 
water pouring over the land is such that the footprints of man are obliterated. 
The amount of ice is enormous and the ice-mountains so many that they seem 
to have been accumulating even ever since the birth of Christ. The abundance 
of snow surpasses belief," etc. This passage, translated into Latin, is printed 
by Hessel Gerrits in his Dctectio Freti. Amsterdam, 1613, 4to. 

CH. VI. 

62 The Troubles in 1613 

sent northward to explore, but on the 9th of August he 
came into Bell Sound not having been beyond Fairhaven. 
He was then intending to go round the South Cape and 
explore eastward. Joseph "told him that he had hindered 
the voyage more by his absence than his discoverie would 
profit ; and that it were best that he went back with him 
to the Foreland, and that he would give no licence to go 
now for discoverie, because the yeare was far spent ; but 
bad him, according to his commission, so to proceede." 
The statement by Edge that "this yeare was Hope Hand 
and other Hands discovered to the eastward by the Com- 
panie," seems to prove that Marmaduke went his way in 
spite of Joseph ; at all events his own ship did not remain 
or sail home with the others, though the captured Dutch 
ship did. 

The rest of the foreign ships may be dealt with more 
briefly. One of the Zaardam sloops was compelled to serve 
as tender to the English ships in Sir Thomas Smith's Bay. 
She was sent about to fetch drift-wood and to carry oil 
from the shore to the ships. For this service she received 
some barrels of oil and " beards " of whalebone as pay. 
The second Zaardam ship was the only Dutch vessel that 
made a voyage, and returned to Holland with her cargo 1 . 
From the two Dunkerque ships the Englishmen in the 
crew were pressed, the larger ship was sent straight home, 
while the smaller was given a job in Horn Sound. Here 
her crew mutinied and sailed for Norway, but ultimately 
they were overpowered by their officers, and on arrival at 
Dunkerque were given into the hands of justice. 

The fortune of the Biscay ships was less uniformly bad. 
All the San Sebastian vessels, variously estimated at 5, 7, 
and 8 in number, were sent straight home. Among them 
was the ship that Woodcock had piloted up the previous 
year ; she arrived at Spitsbergen from Greenland, where 
she had lost six men and a boat on an island in latitude 72°. 
Two of the four St Jean de Luz ships were allowed to fish 
on condition that they only kept half the oil they made. 
In the case of the big ship commanded by Michael de 
Aristega, Gerrits says that this arrangement was revoked, 

1 Wassenaer, Hist. Verh. VIII. 88. 

The Hull Bonny Boat 63 

but the English accounts are silent on the matter. The 
Rochelle ships seem to have been sent home empty but 
some men remained in Green Harbour ; for it is recorded 
that, on July 25th, two Rochellers, "for pilfering and for 
some peremptorie speeches, were ducked at our yard arme, 
the one on the one side, and the other on the other." The 
Jacques of Bordeaux, with Allen Sallows for pilot, was 
permitted to fish in Green Harbour on these terms, that 
he might keep any whales he killed after the first eight. 
In the result he killed twelve. Gerrits says that all of 
them were confiscated, and that even the sailors' clothes 
were taken from them and they beaten into the bargain, 
but Baffin says the arrangement was faithfully carried out. 
At all events this ship sailed home in company with the 

Of the English interloper, the Desire of Aldborough, 
there is little to say. She visited Bear Island and took off 
the six men left there by Bonner, and she was afterwards 
spoken off Cape Cold by the home-going fleet of the 
Company. Fletcher, her master, then stated that "they 
had made but a bad voyage of fish," and that they were in 
fact on their way to Sir Thomas Smith's Bay to see whether 
the Company could freight them home. 

There must also have been a Hull interloper in Spits- 
bergen waters this year, for in the Trinity House at Hull 
a shallop, called the Bonny Boat, is still carefully pre- 
served, which is said to have been found and brought home 
from the Arctic regions this year, 161 3, by Captain Andrew 
Barker. Can it be that after the other whalers had gone 
home, leaving their stuff behind on the shore for next 
season, Captain Barker appropriated this boat and carried 
it home as a trophy ? 

All the ships seem ultimately to have reached their 
respective ports in safety. The English brought home 
a live reindeer to present to the King. Edge says that 
the Company would have made three or four thousand 
pounds more profit if their ships had not wasted their time 
chasing the foreigners. Gerrits, on the contrary, states that 
the Company's profits amounted to " une richesse incroy- 
able." Naturally the foreign adventurers were much dis- 
gusted with the treatment their ships had received. They 

CH. VI. 


64 The Troubles in 1613 

complained, says the Mercure franpois 1 , "au Senat qui 
leur donna des lettres de recommandation au roy de la 
Grand' Bretaigne, ou ils envoyerent pour tascher de r'avoir 
ce qui leur avoit este oste. Mais ils trouverent ce vieux 
Proverbe veritable que qui est le plus fort est le maistre de 
la mer ; que telles gens ne prennent jamais pour rendre. 
Tellement qu'ils n'en eurent d'autres raisons ; ce qui les fit 
resoudre qu'aux voyages qu'ils feroient au Groenland' J , d'y 
aller forts afrm de se defendre des Anglois qui les attaque- 
roient et se venger de l'injure recue." 

The news of the events of the season created some 
stir in Europe. The Dutch sent envoys to England to 
make protests and reclamations. The famous Hugo 
Grotius was one of them. The Muscovy Company re- 
fused satisfaction and resolved to defend their monopoly 
by force 3 . It was at this time that Hessel Gerrits, the 
active promoter of nautical enterprise at Amsterdam, pub- 
lished the controversial pamphlet already alluded to. The 
controversy was thus formally begun which was destined to 
drag itself on for more than half a century and to obtain 
solution, not at the hands of diplomatists, but by process of 

1 Mercure francois, 1613, deuxieme continuation, pp. 180, 181, quoted by 
E. T. Hamy, Les Francois au Spitsberg {Bull, de ge'ogr. hist, et descr.), 
Paris, 1895, 8 vo - P- J 4- 

2 Spitsbergen. 

3 Letter of Chamberlain to Carlton (27th Oct. 1613), Calendar of State 
Papers, Domestic, 1611-18, p. 203. P. Jz. Twisck's Chronijck (Hoorn, 1620), 
4to. Vol. II. p. 1675. 



Impelled by the necessity for mutual cooperation and 
support, the various Dutch adventurers of Amsterdam, Zaar- 
dam, Enkhuizen,and Hoorn laid aside their mutual jealousies 
and agreed that, in order to make head against the English 
and establish their right to whale in the Spitsbergen bays 
and waters, they must unite into a single powerful company 
and obtain the help of the States Government. To begin 
with, the two separate Amsterdam partnerships united into 
one company on January 27th, 16 14, and applied to the 
States General for a monopoly, which was straightway 
granted to them for the three following summer seasons 1 . 
Thereby the Noordsche Compagnie was founded. It was 
formed by the union of Chambers representing Amsterdam, 
Delft, Rotterdam, Hoorn, Enkhuizen, and Zaardam. Later 
on other Chambers were added. The object of the mono- 
poly was to force all the Dutch whalers into one company, 
for any that remained outside would be forbidden to fish. 
The English endeavoured to checkmate this opposition by 
formally annexing Spitsbergen, which they wrongly though 
perhaps ignorantly claimed by right of first discovery. 

On April 12th the Muscovy Company obtained an 
Order in Council 2 , again approving their enterprise and 
granting them permission to defend themselves if attacked 
and to uphold the King's right to Spitsbergen. We shall 
consequently find the Company's servants busy in the 
following season setting up the King's arms and going 
through elaborate ceremonies of taking possession. There 

1 See the charter in Zorgdrager (German edition), p. 205. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, Add. 1 580-1625, p. 539. 

c. CH. VII. c 

66 Events in 1614 

was activity of preparation everywhere, for on the events 
of the following season the future of the fishery was likely 
to depend. 

As the season of 16 14 approached both English and 
Dutch made great preparations for the fishery. The Dutch 
whaling fleet of fourteen ships was protected by a convoy of 
three or four States men-of-war, " Ships with thirtie pieces 
of Ordanance a piece." Two of these ships were sent for 
discovery, and came home with fine tales of their doings, 
as we shall see presently. The Admiral of the Dutch fleet 
was Hillebrant Gerbrantsz. Ouast ; the Commissary General 
was Anthoni Monier 1 . 

From the instructions given to the admiral by the 
States General 2 we learn that the Dutch fleet was to 
rendezvous at the Shetlands on May 12th, and sail thence 
in company to the fishery. They were ordered not to 
attack any foreign whalers, but if attempts were made by 
any to hinder them in their own fishing they were em- 
powered to resist by force. 

The English fleet this year numbered only " eleven 
ships of good burthen and two pinnasses," under the 
command of Benjamin Joseph and Thomas Edge 3 . Two 
of the English ships were intended for discovery and to 
take possession of lands and harbours. One of these was 
the Thomasine, whereof T. Sherwin was master, W. Baffin 
pilot, and R. Fotherby master's mate ; the other was the 
Heartsease of Hull, under the command of the famous 
Thomas Marmaduke. The only accounts of the voyage 
we possess refer to the doings of the Thomasine 4 '. We hear 
little of the other ships. One went to Bell Sound, four to 
the bays near the Foreland, in that year no longer collec- 
tively called Whales Bay, but each separately designated. 
Two settled in the south harbour of Fairhaven, and set up 
their coppers on the shore. Later on four of the English 
ships were sent to the eastward of the South Cape, where 

1 After whom Monier's Bay was named ; Fotherby this year named it 
Red-cliff Sound. It is now commonly called Red Bay. 

2 Printed in Muller's N. Co., p. 370. 

3 Thus Fotherby states in his log. Edge says "13 great ships and 
2 pinnasses," but he is clearly wrong. 

4 See Purchas ill. p. 720, and the Hakluyt Society's Baffin, pp. 80-102, for 
Fotherby's log. Edge's abstract is in Purchas in. p. 466. 

An Agreement made 67 

they discovered some islands, but nothing else is known 
about their doings. Purchas possessed their journal and 
intended to print it, but unfortunately failed to do so. 
The fact was that the year was very unfavourable. The 
northern harbours were blocked with ice all the season, 
and many whales were lost under it. The whales were 
late in arriving at the Foreland. This, rather than the 
presence of the Dutch, diminished the success of the 
voyage. The icy Arctic summer of 1614 succeeded a 
winter that, in England at any rate, was unusually cold 
and snowy. It was the coldest there had been for some 
34 years 1 . 

On June 23rd Joseph and Monier signed an agreement 2 
in Bell Sound, which was the station of the English 
commander, whereby English and Dutch agreed to a 
modus Vivendi for that season. By this agreement the 
Dutch engaged to clear out of Bell Sound, Ice Sound, Fair 
Foreland {i.e. Sir T. Smith's Bay, and Cross Road), and 
Fairhaven. These four harbours were recognised as English 
stations. The Dutch were to be allowed to settle in any 
other harbour to the south or north, provided they did not 
find it to be already occupied by English ships. Both 
captains agreed to assist one another in driving aw r ay inter- 
lopers of other nations. It is stated twice over that the 
arrangement was made for this year 161 4. We shall here- 
after find the Dutch claiming that the arrangement was 
intended to be permanent. On it they based their claim to 
settle in Horn Sound in 161 7, and both in Bell and Horn 
Sounds in 1618. 

In consequence of this bargain the Dutch went to 
Horn Sound and to the north, where they anchored off 
Amsterdam Island in what was then called "the north 
harbour," to distinguish it from Fairhaven, or "south 
harbour," which the English occupied. In modern times 
the name Fairhaven has generally been used for the 
anchorages near Vogelsang and the Norways. The early 

1 See a pamphlet entitled "The Cold Yeare 1614. A Deepe Snow in which 
men and cattell have perished,'' etc. London, 161 5 ; reprinted in R. Triphook's 
Miscellanea Antigua Anglicana. London, 1816, 4to. 

2 The terms of the agreement are printed in Wassenaer, Historisch Verhael. 
VIII. ff. 94, 95. 

CH. VII. 5 — 2 

68 Events in 1614 

English use of it was for Mauritius or Dutch Bay in general, 
but especially for the South Gat or English Bay. 

When, in 16 14, Dutch and English began whaling in the 
north and south parts of Fairhaven respectively, the shores 
were as yet unencumbered by any of the works of man. 
Each set of whalers anchored in some convenient place, 
as near a level beach as possible, and "set up their 
shallops," or, as we should say, launched their whale-boats. 
When the whales came in, the bay was full of them. As 
soon as a whale was killed, it was towed ashore and flensed, 
and the blubber was there and then boiled down into train- 
oil in a copper on shore. All that was needed was a big 
copper caldron, some wooden vats or coolers, and the 
necessary barrels for holding the finished product. The 
English caldron was set up probably near the south-east 
point of Danes Island, the Dutch caldron on the south-east 
point of Amsterdam Island. The work completed, the 
coppers were taken on board again and carried home. 
It soon became apparent that to carry out and home all the 
equipment for whaling and blubber-boiling every year was 
a labour that might be avoided if a safe place could be 
found for leaving it. Hence the need for some fixed 
establishment on shore which should be recognised as 
private property. The English appear to have had some 
such place in Cove Comfortless, or near Fair Foreland. 
The Dutch tried to build a hut themselves in Bell Sound, 
but the English pulled it down. Ultimately the Dutch 
decided upon the flat at Amsterdam Island for their base, 
and about 161 7 they built one or two huts there. In these 
they left their whaling tackle. They set up their coppers 
in a permanent fashion on a brick foundation, with a brick 
fireplace beneath and a chimney for the smoke. A large 
warehouse was soon found necessary, not merely for storing 
the surplus of train-oil which they were unable to carry 
away in their full-laden ships, but to be a working-place 
for the coopers, whose work could not be well done in the 
open air in rainy weather. The men working on shore 
also needed sleeping and feeding rooms, and a cooking- 
place. These buildings were always called "tents," a 
proof that in the earliest years of the fishery actual canvas 
tents were all that were employed, as in fact we see in the 

The Site of Smeereiiburg 69 

rough drawings illustrating Fotherby's MS. account of his 
voyage to Spitsbergen in 161 3. 

Thus in 1614 the Dutch for the first time appropriated 
the site afterwards occupied by their great whaling station, 
SmeerenburCT ; for the shore in the north harbour most 


suitable for the operations of flensing and boiling down 
blubber was the flat spit that runs south-eastward from the 
hilly centre of Amsterdam Island. The name, Amsterdam 
Island, was probably given this year, and the ships that 
anchored there were doubtless those of the Dutch fleet, 
sent out by the Amsterdam Chamber of the Noordsche 
Company ; for afterwards an unsuccessful attempt was made 
to restrict the use of this harbour to Amsterdam ships only, 
on the ground of prior occupation. 

Dunkerque sent out several ships in 16 14, but where 
they went or what they did we know not 1 . Biscay ships 
also came up, but Fotherby only mentions one as sighted 
off Magdalena Bay. Both English and Dutch chased other 
nations' interlopers away when they could. It is not 
improbable that the Biscay whalers, being much more 
expert than Dutch or English, and accustomed to taking 
whales far from the shore, were not so tied to the coast as 
their opponents. If they took whales in the open sea, as 
the Dutch learned to do a few years later, it is natural that 
little should be heard about them in Dutch and English 
logs. It was a sailor of Cibourre who invented the 
dangerous method of boiling down blubber on board ship 
by building a furnace on deck (le second ponl), and using 
the "fritters" or residuum of the first boiling as fuel for the 
second 2 . 

Baffin and Fotherby, in accordance with their instructions, 
set up the King's arms at Magdalena Bay, Hakluyt's Head- 
land, Red-cliff Sound, Point Welcome, and the E. point of 
Red Beach. They appear to have proceeded with much 
ceremony. Thus in the little cove behind the island in 
the south side of Magdalena Bay, Fotherby "caused a 
crosse to be set up, and the kings armes to be nayled 
thereon, under which also I nayled a piece of sheet lead, 

1 P. Fauconnier, Description historiqice de Dunkerque. Bruges, 1760, fol. 
Vol. 1. pp. 121, 122. 

2 Hamy, p. 16 ; Hakluyt Society, Martens, p. 130. 


70 Events in 1614 

whereon I set the Moscovie Companies marke, with the 
day of the moneth and yeare of our Lord. Then, cutting 
up a piece of earth, which afterward I carried aboard our 
ship, I took it into my hand and said, in the hearing of the 
men there present, to this effect : ' I take this piece of 
earth, as a signe of lawfull possession of this countrey of 
King James his New-land, and of this particular place, 
which I name Trinitie Harbour, taken on the behalfe of 
the company of merchants called the merchants of New 
Trades and Discoveries 1 , for the use of our Sovereigne 
Lord James, by the Grace of God King of Great Brittaine, 
France, and Ireland, whose royall armes are here set up, to 
the end that all people who shall here arrive may take 
notice of his maiesties right and title to this countrey, and 
to every part thereof. God save King James 2 .' ' Need- 
less to say, the name thus formally given has disappeared 
from the maps. The latest Admiralty chart names this 
harbour English Cove. A similar ceremonial was per- 
formed on Hakluyt's Headland. 

The Spaniards performed this kind of function in more 
elaborate fashion. Thus on November 22nd, 1597, Pedro 
Sarmiento went on shore at Port Rosario, in Magellan 
Straits, and hoisted a great cross, when "all worshipped 
it with much devotion, and sang Te Deiim Laudamus 
in loud voices, on their knees. With great joy they 
gave thanks to God, knowing the mercies we had received 
at His divine hands. This done, the Captain Superior, 
Pedro Sarmiento, rose to his feet, and drawing a sword 
which hung to his belt, he exclaimed in a loud voice, in 
the presence of all, that they were all witnesses how, in 
the name of the sacred Catholic and royal Majesty of 
the King, Don Philip our Lord, King of Castille and its 
dependencies and in the name of his heirs and successors, 
he took possession of that land for ever. In testimony of 
this, and that those present might keep it in memory, he 
cut trees, branches, and herbs with the sword he held in 
his hand, and moved stones, with which he made a heap in 
token of possession." A procession was then formed, 

1 The formal name of what was popularly known as the Muscovy Company. 

2 C. R. Markham, Pedro Sarmiento. London (Hakluyt Society), 1895, 8vo. 
p. 41. 

Efforts at Annexation 71 

Sarmiento carrying the cross, troops following in battle 
array, monks singing a litany. The cross was planted on a 
high rock, prayers offered, Vexilla Regis sung, mass said, 
and a sermon preached. Finally, a great tree was felled 
and a big cross made and set up as a memorial. 

The explorers made several attempts to push round 
the north-west corner of Spitsbergen, but were foiled by the 
ice which was packed down upon the north coast. More 
than once they visited the islands Vogelsang and Cloven 
Cliff, called by them Cape Barren and the Saddle. Baffin, 
indeed, reached the entrance of Red-cliff Bay and set up 
the King's arms, but could get no further. A few days 
later he returned there with Fotherby "purposing (because 
the ayre was very cleere) to goe upon some high mountaine, 
from whence we might see how the sea was pestered with 
ice, and what likelihood there was of further proceeding. 
According to this our intent, we ascended a very high hill, 
and from thence we saw the ice lye upon the sea so farre 
as we could discerne, so that the sea seemed to be wholly 
toured with ice, save onely to the eastwards ; we thought 
that we saw the water beyond the ice, which put us in some 
hope that we should ere long get passage with our shallops 
along the shore, if we could not passe with our shippe." 
On the 14th of July they returned again, and this time, by 
crossing the ice, succeeded in landing on Red Beach, where 
they hoped to find stranded whalebone, but did not, for 
Marmaduke had been there, in 1612, and gathered it all 
up. Not being able to proceed further they returned to 
their ship in Fairhaven, a plan of which Fotherby drew, 
but Purchas unfortunately omitted it. 

At length, on the 1st of August, the ice opened a little, 
so Baffin and Fotherby again started off with two boats 
and came to Red Beach. "We resolved," says Fotherby, 
'to walke over land to the other side of the beach, where 
we saw a hill about foure miles distant, from which we thought 
we should be satisfied how much further it was possible for 
us to proceede ; so thither we travailed, where, when we 
came, we saw a very faire sound (Wiches Sound, now 
Liefde Bay) on the east side of the beach which was open 
within ; but there lay very much ice at the entrance of it, 
which, although it was extended more than halfe over the 


72 Events in 1614 

sound, yet we doubted not but if we could get our shallops 
about the beach, we should finde either one way or other 
to passe over the said sound, and from the high land on the 
other side {i.e. the hills S. of Grey Hook) we should 
receive very good satisfaction, if the weather continued 
faire and cleare as now it was, therefore we intended to 
make triall what we might do ; but before we returned 
we went down to the point of the beach [i.e. to the point 
now wrongly called Welcome Point) at the entrance of the 
Sound, and there set up a cross, and nailed a sixpence 
thereon with the Kings armes." 

Returning to their boats they presently brought them 
through the ice and across Liefde Bay. Landing on its east 
shore " Master Baffin and I clambered up a very high hill, 
from whence we saw a point of land (Castlins Point, now 
Verlegen Hook) bearing E.N.-E. by the ordinary compasse, 
eighteene or twenty (really nine) leagues distant, as I sup- 
posed. We likewise saw another faire sound (Sir Thomas 
Smith's Inlet, now Wijde Bay) to the southwards of us, 
which was much pestered with ice, but we could not see 
the end of it. Here, upon the mountaine, we set up a 
warelocke 1 , and then came down againe with lesse labour 
but more danger then we had in getting up, by reason of 
the steepinesse thereof." 

At Grey Hook they met a boat of Marmaduke's, whose 
crew "were setting up a crosse, which they said that they 
found there fallen downe, and had been formerly set up, 
in the time of Master Marmaduke's first discovery by 
one Laurence Prestwood, whose name I saw thereon 
engraven, with two or three names more, and it had the 
date of the 17th of August 1612 2 . Upon this crosse they 
nailed the Kings armes." The explorers pushed on in their 
boats round Grey Hook till the ice stopped them. They 
landed on the west shore of Wijde Bay and walked a 
league along it to "the point of a sandie beach that shot 
into the sound, which was wonderfully stored with drift- 
wood in great abundance." Hence they saw to the head 
of the sound about ten leagues away. Unable to proceed 
further eastward they returned, not without some danger, 

1 Doubtless a stone-man or cairn. - See above, p. 50. 

Fotherby s Exploration 73 

to the Thomasine in Fairhaven. A few days later another 
expedition was made, but bad weather frustrated it. 

" On August 14th," says Fotherby, " was the land, both 
mountaynes and plaines, wholly covered with snow, so that 
almost all mens mindes were possessed with a desire of 
returning for England." But Fotherby obtained leave to 
make another attempt, and rowed off with one boat to Red 
Beach. Gales, fog, and snow-storms drove them into Wijde 
Bay "and put us from the place where we wished to be. 
The thicke snowie weather continued all this time, which 
was very uncomfortable to us all, but especially to the men 
that rowed ; and as the snow was noysome to their bodies, 
so did it also begin to astonish their mindes." They 
continued for eighteen hours amongst the ice, during all 
which time the snow fell, so they had to return toward 
their ship. An easterly gale blew them from the N.E. 
extremity of Red Beach across Broad Bay "to Point 
Welcome (which I so named because it is a place where 
wee often times rested when wee went forth in our 
shallops 1 )." The Dutch had recently been here and had 
set up Prince Maurice's arms near Fotherby 's cross, from 
which they had carried off the English sixpenny-piece. 
The sailors pulled down the Dutch arms, while Fotherby 
was climbing a hill, and nailed up "the Kings armes cast in 

Starting again, they explored Red-cliff Sound and 
found, about two leagues within it, on the east side, a good 
harbour. Fotherby landed and walked "two miles over 
stonie mountaynes... to bee satisfied concerning a point of 
land that shot into the Sound, whether it were an Hand or 
no, as by all likelihood it seemed to be : but when I came 
to the farthest part of it, I saw it joyne the mayne land, 
wherefore I called it Point Deceit, because it deceived mee 
so much." On the 19th of August they were again in the 
north harbour of Fairhaven, where they remained till the 
27th. The weather then being fine and warm the Thomasine 
sailed and made another attempt to explore eastward, but 
only came as far as Wijde Bay. The pack there com- 

1 With the usual blundering about nomenclature in Spitsbergen this name 
has been transferred to the cape at the E. end of Red Beach. 


74 Events in 1614 

pelled them to turn back, so they sailed for England and 
reached Wrapping on October 4th. 

The Dutch Company, like the English, had sent two 
ships on discovery this year. We must now turn to 
consider w T hat they accomplished. It is a great misfortune 
that their log has not been preserved. The ships in 
question were De goude CatJi of Amsterdam, Captain 
Jan Jacobsz May, and Den Orangienboom of Enkhuizen, 
Captain Jacob de Gouwenaer. The pilot of the Enkhuizen 
ship was doubtless Joris Carolus, to whom the reader's 
attention must be directed for a moment. He was by no 
means an unimportant person. Apparently a native of 
Enkhuizen. he took part in the wars of his time, and lost a 
leg at the siege of Ostend, whereupon he gave himself up 
to the art of navigation, and became a pilot. He describes 
himself always as Joris Carolus, Stierman. The sticrman 
was responsible for the navigation of the ship and kept the 
log. Carolus spent many years in the Indies in the service 
of the Oost-Indische Compagnie. He was a man of 
scientific mind., who collected all the information he could 
about matters concerning his art. When at length his 
years and feebleness prevented him from voyaging, he 
settled down at Amsterdam as teacher of navigation, and 
published a book of charts and sailing directions, now very 
rare, entitled Het nieuw vemneerde Licht, gehenaemt de 
Sleutel varit Tresoor, Gesickt, ende vierighe Colom des 
Grooten Zeevaerts. Dat is claer ende seeckere beschrijzinghe 
van de Oost, West, Suvdt ende Xoordsclie Navigatie, verciert 
met alle noodige perfecte ende duijdelycke Pas-kaarten, 
Opdoeninghen der Landen, Haven, Kapen ende Riviere u. 
aenwysinghe der Droog/iteu, Landen, Clippen ende On- 
diepten ; versckeijdentheijt der p/aetsen, 800 deselve in 
nrijlen, graden ende Compasstreecken van den omderen syn 
gkelegen. Alles van nieuws oversien, verbeetert ende ver- 
meerdert, door Mr Joris Carolus. Stierman. Leermeester 
ende Caert-sckryver van de groote en cleyne Zeevaert binnen 
de vennaerde Coopstadt Amsteldam. Ghedruckt tot Am- 
sterdam. By Jan Janssen Boeekvercooper opt Water in de 
Paskaert. Anno 1634. Of this work I can find no copy 
in England, but there is one in the Hague Archives, and 
I daresay there may be more copies in other Dutch 

Carolus Exploration 75 

libraries. The book contains one or two autobiographical 
passages. Carolus states (p. 2) that all the soundings 
measurements, and drawings of the European coasts com- 
prised in this extensive book of maps were not derived 
from the account of others, but from his own observations. 
When writing about Greenland (p. 147), he states that he 
does not believe it to be connected with Spitsbergen, 
because a constant current flows along the coast of Spits- 
bergen, coming from the north. "This I observed in the 
year 16 14, in which year I was as far north as 83°"; whereby 
he concluded that a route might be found that way if it were 
sought for 1 . 

Carolus' claim to have attained a high latitude in 16 14 
was accepted by contemporary Dutch geographers. Thus 
on a globe, made in 1622 by Guljelmus Caesius 2 , the follow- 
ing legend is written against a point in the ocean to the 
north-west of Hakluyt's Headland, about latitude 82°, 
" Hollandi hue usque fuerunt a° 16 14." 

Fotherbv's journal contains some meagre but im- 
portant references to the Dutch discovery ships. He 
states that he hastened up to Fairhaven early in June, 
" and so much the rather wee hasted because we under- 
stood that the Hollanders also set forth a ship on dis- 
coverie." On julv 6th the Hollanders were riding- "in the 
north harbour of Fairehaven, and were ready for the first 
opportunity to discover." Later he writes, "the ninth of 
August two ships of the Hollanders, that were appointed 
for northern discovery, were seene thwart of Faire Haven, 
sayling to the southwards." Thus the time during which 
the Dutch ships were absent from Fairhaven and when 
they professed to have reached lat. 83° N. was between 
July 6th and August 9th 3 . 

It happens that we possess in Fotherby's journal an 
exact account of the state of the ice-pack off the north 

1 This is the first recorded observation of the great drift which Xansen used 
to carry the Fram across the polar ocean. 

- I saw this globe both in the Doge's Palace and the Correr Museum at 

3 It must be remembered that these dates are in the Old Style, used at this 
time by the English. The Dutch began to use the New Style already in 1582. 
Thus the corresponding Dutch dates, during which their expedition was absent 
from Fairhaven, were July 16th to August 19th. 


76 Events in 16 14 

coast of Spitsbergen during the month in question. So far 
from its having been an open season, it was one in which 
the ice was so tightly packed down upon the coast that 
even a whale-boat could not be taken beyond Wijde Bay 
(Sir Thomas Smith's Inlet). On July 6th Fotherby climbed 
a hill near Red-cliff Sound (Monier Bay), and "saw the ice 
lye upon the sea so farre as we could discerne, so that the 
sea seemed to be wholly toured with ice ; save onely to 
the eastwards, we thought that we saw the water beyond the 
ice." On July 14th the edge of the ice was only two miles 
from Red Beach. On landing " we beheld great abundance 
of ice that lav close to the shore and also off at sea so farre 
as we could discerne." On August 1st they were just 
able to row to the shore near Grey Hook, but found the 
ice, off the mouth of Wijde Bay, "so close packt together 
that wee could not proceede any further with our shallops." 
Finally, on August nth to 14th they found the conditions 
unchanged. It is obvious, therefore, that during this period 
no ship can possibly have sailed from Fairhaven, reached 
lat. 83° N., and returned, as (apparently) Joris Carolus 
claimed to have done. 

As a matter of fact we know pretty well what Carolus 
and his crew were doing between July 6th- 1 6th and 
August 9th-i9th. They certainly visited Welcome Point 
(Biscayers Hook), for there Fotherby saw " Prince Maurice 
his armes " set up by them in the interval between two of 
his visits. They were also at Red-cliff Sound, doubtless 
on July 3ist-August 10th. This bay bears two names on 
early Dutch maps. Some call it Monier Bay — a name 
obviously given in no other year than 16 14, when Monier 
was Commissary-General of the Dutch fleet. On other 
maps, especially one published by Carolus himself, who 
may have been jealous of Monier, it is named St Lawrence 
Bay. Now the day of St Lawrence is August 10th, and 
that fell nine days before the day when they sailed away 
from Fairhaven on their return. We need, therefore, have 
little doubt that what Carolus did was to explore along the 
north coast eastwards. The coast-line he laid down is that 
shown on all the early Dutch charts 1 not copied from the 

1 Such as those of Middelhoven, A. Goos, and C. Doedsz. 














Carol us discovers Edge Island 77 

Muscovy Company's maps. He named the Groote or 
Groote Vogel (now Foul by error for Fowl) Bay, and he 
named Monier or Lawrence Bay (the Red-cliff Sound of 
Baffin and Fotherby). That was the furthest point he 

If other proof be required we can point to his own 

It may be suggested that the figure 83° was an after- 
thought. It is not incorporated in the following important 
resolution of the States General of January 16th, 1615 1 . 
"The request having been read of Mr Jooris Carolus, 
Stierman, recently sailed to Spitsbergen with Commissary 
Monier, to the whale-fishery, and having advanced his 
voyage towards the north pole to seek whether a passage 
could be found by the sea of Tartary to China and Japan, 
according to the map made by him, which he has presented 
to their mightynesses, beseeching them to take his work 
into consideration, and offering them his services zealously 
at all times at their bidding to make further explorations ; 
after deliberation it is resolved that, having regard to the 
supplicant's good will and zeal in the service of the land 
and the foregoing services which he has rendered, he be 
granted the sum of 72 guldens," etc. The map in question 
does not appear to remain in the Dutch archives, but the 
same, or a manuscript copy of it, is in the " Departement 
des cartes et plans de la marine" at Paris. It is signed 
"Joris Carolus Stierman Caertschryver tot Enchn" (Enk- 
huizen), and dated 1614. 

It may be objected that, though Carolus cannot have 
reached a high latitude between July 6th and August 9th, 
he may have returned to the attack later in the season. 
But on August 9th the two Dutch ships in question were 
seen by the English passing the mouth of the South Gat 
(where the English were anchored), and " sayling to the 
southwards." The map shows whither they went, and 
reveals a discovery which historians of Arctic exploration 
have quite overlooked. East of, and in close proximity to 
Spitsbergen, it depicts two land-masses, divided by sounds 
from Spitsbergen and from one another. The western 

1 Printed by S. Muller, Noordsche Compagnie, Appendix, p. 380. 



Events in 1614 

land-mass is named Onbekende Cust, the eastern Morfyn. 
Morfyn is a miswriting for Morsyn, by which the " Matsyn 
id est Plurimae Insillae" of Hondius' chart of 161 1 is meant 1 . 
Matsyn we know to have been a part of Novaja Zemlja 
(Matochkin) shifted in longitude. Carolus did not know 
this. He merely had Hondius' chart before him, with 
a piece of land flanked by islands vaguely marked. Sailing 
round the South Cape of Spitsbergen, which he named 
Generaels hoeck, and standing to the eastward he sighted 
land to the north (Whales Point of Edge Island). He 
erroneously made this land stretch almost across Wijbe 
Jans Water towards Spitsbergen. Continuing eastward, 
he passed Deicrow Sound, and then sighted Negro Point 
and the islands off it, especially noticing Half-moon Island, 
which he clearly marked on the chart. He erroneously 
exaggerated the width of the land he discovered, partly no 
doubt with the desire of bringing his Morfyn as nearly into 
the longitude of Hondius' Matsyn as he could. Thus it is 
certain that Edge Island was discovered not by Edge in 
1 61 6, but by J oris Carolus in 1614; if, indeed, it had not 
been already discovered by the energetic Thomas Marma- 
duke of Hull in 161 3. 

Matsyn was not invented by Hondius. It is marked on 
Gerardus Mercator's map of the polar regions, which 
includes Barents' discoveries, and therefore cannot be of 
1569, as stated by Nordenskiold in his atlas. It is also 
marked on the Molyneux globe in the Middle Temple 
Library, which marks Barents' wintering place of 1596-97, 
and cannot therefore be of 1592 as stated. Matsyn is like- 
wise marked on other maps about 1600' 2 , and on Gerrits' 
map in ''Detectio Freti" of 161 2. In almost every case 
the coloration or shading indicates that Matsyn was re- 
garded as belonging to Spitsbergen, whilst Willoughby 
Land is similarly connected with Novaja Zemlja. For this 
reason I am inclined to think that, though originally 
Matsyn was created out of Matochkin, it may have been 

1 In some maps Matsyn is written Marsyn, whence the transition to Morfyn 
is easy. 

2 Such as Franciscus Hoeius' MS. Map of the World in the Bodel Nyenhuis 
Collection at Leyden, reproduced in F. Muller's Remarkable Maps (C. H. 
Coote, ed.), Part i, Nos. 7, 8, which likewise introduces Barents' Spitsbergen. 

Jan Mayen again discovered 79 

identified with Edge Island and the Thousand Islands even 
before Carolus' voyage of 1614 1 . 

From Edge Island, where doubtless the ice-pack was 
encountered, the two Dutch ships sailed westward again 
toward Greenland. Running down the edge of the ice, 
they came in sight of Jan Mayen Island, which they believed 
themselves to have discovered. It appears on Carolus' 
chart with the name "Mr J oris eylandt." There is likewise 
a cape called Jan Meys hoeck, and a bay called Gouwenaers 
Bay, after the captains of the two ships. Jan Mayen Island 
was always getting discovered and named. Hudson first 
saw it in 1607, an d named it Hudson's Touches. Accord- 
ing to Scoresby, the whalers of Hull discovered it about 
161 1 or 1612, and named it Trinity Island. The Dutch 
tradition, recorded by Zorgdrager, was that Jan Cornelisz. 
May discovered it in 161 1 ; but this is a mistake, J. Cz. May 
of 161 1 having been confused with J. Jz. May of 1614, 
and the name Jan Meys hoeck given by Joris having 
been transferred to the island in the form Jan Mayen. 
Jean Vrolicq, the Biscay whaler, claimed to have discovered 
it in 161 2 ; he named it Isle de Richelieu. Finally, in 
161 5 Fotherby discovered it again, named it Sir Thomas 
Smith's Island, and wrote the first detailed account of it". 
The Dutch in the great days of the fishery always called it 
Mauritius Island. 

We thus find that the claims of Joris Carolus to have 
sailed to lat. 83° N. and to have discovered Jan Mayen 
Island cannot be maintained ; but in compensation he 
deserves to be credited with the discovery of Edge Island, 
which he did not claim. 

Muller (p. 171) has shown that, in the following year 
(1615), Joris Carolus made an important voyage to the 
north-west, which likewise has been forgotten. As in 
1 6 14 he anticipated Edge, so in 161 5 Muller claims that 
he anticipated Baffin. In the service of the Noordsche 
Company, it appears he sailed through Davis Strait, and 
reached lat. 8o° N. The results of the voyage were 

1 Matsyn is indubitably identified with Edge Island on H. Hondius' Map of 
the World of 1630, which is reproduced in F. Muller's Remarkable Afafls, 
Part 2, No. 6. 

2 Fotherby in Purchas, Vol. III. p. 729. 


8o Events in 1614 

depicted on a chart presented to the States-General, and 
referred to in a resolution of November 26th, 161 5 1 . This 
chart has not been found. In his Nietnu vermeerde Lie lit 
(p. 148), Carolus describes Baffin's Bay, and seems to imply 
in a rather vague fashion that he was there. He says it 
extends to 79°, and is then closed by land. That a Dutch 
expedition did penetrate north through Davis Strait in 161 5 
is certain, but I think Carolus' presence on board is 
doubtful, whilst after his disproved claim of having" reached 
83° north of Spitsbergen, other claims by him to have 
attained exceptionally high latitudes must be discounted. 
We must bear in mind that the object of voyages of dis- 
covery at this time was to find new trades, and appropriate 
the monopoly of them to the country, or even to the 
company, of the discoverer. Hence the exaggerated lati- 
tudes claimed. Not the cold veracity of science, but the 
lax morality of competitive commerce, inspired the records 
of these expeditions. The reports of pilots exploring for 
trading companies are not scientific documents. Geogra- 
phers must distrust them, much as geologists distrust the 
reports of mining prospectors. 

In 1 61 7, Muller shows that Joris Carolus was again sent 
ondiscovery by the Delft, Hoorn, and Enkhuizen Chambers of 
the Noordsche Company. This time he claimed to have found 
two islands. The first, named New Holland, was between 
lat. 6o° and 63°N. Unless this was a pure invention, it must 
have been a known part of the east coast of Greenland. 
The other, named Opdams Island, was in lat. 66° N., and 
twenty Dutch miles east of Iceland! The Noordsche 
Company applied to the States General for the monopoly 
of fishing off these islands, which were depicted on a map 
supplied by Carolus. The monopoly was granted by a 
resolution of October 28th, 1617 2 . We are thus again 
driven to doubt Carolus' veracity. The single important 
discovery with which he ought to be credited was one 
which he appears never to have taken the trouble to 

As an author Carolus was really more important than 
as an explorer, but here again fame has been unkind to 

1 Printed in Muller's Appendix, p. 381. 

2 Printed in Muller's Appendix, p. 382. 

Carol its' Book 81 

him, and others seem to have reaped his proper renown. 
His book, Het nieuw vermeerde Licht ende vierighe Colom 
des Grooten Zeevaerts, has been practicall)' forgotten, or 
rather the fact that the book was his has been forgotten. 
The book itself was issued aofain and aQfain in different 
editions and translations, each of which was boldly appro- 
priated by its editor as his own work. The original edition 
was published in 1634. Anthony J acobsz, of Amsterdam, 
issued a new and revised edition of it in 1645, under the 
title De licht ende Colomne ofte Zee Spiegel In 1648, 
Jacob Aertsz. Colom published it likewise at Amsterdam, 
and claimed to be its author. He entitled it De Vyerighe 

Colom, etc samengebracht en beschrieven door J. A. C. In 

the following year he published an English edition : The 
JVezu Fierie Sea-Colomne Wherein the faults, and mis- 
takings of the former contrefaited Lichtning Colomne, are 
plainely discouered, and corrected. J. A. Colom's second 
Dutch edition was issued in 1654. In 1655, Hendrick 
Donckers, of Amsterdam, stole, revised, and issued it. 
Finally, in 1671, John Seller, of London, published a slightly 
revised translation of Donckers' edition, under the new name, 
The English Pilot. Of all these editions the first is the only 
one that contains the original author's name, unless indeed 
Carolus was himself a pirate. We shall return to Carolus 
when we come to deal with the cartography of Spitsbergen. 

c. CH. VII. 



In the winter of 1614-15 the Muscovy Company 
obtained from the English Government a prohibition 
against the import into England of whalebone by any 
but themselves 1 . In December we read that Clement 
Edmondes was going to Holland to treat with the States 
about the Greenland Fishery, amongst other disputed 
matters 2 . The Hollanders demanded an offensive and de- 
fensive league against Spain in the Orient, and in return 
were willing to settle the last Indian and Greenland {i.e. 
Spitsbergen) disputes ; but King James adhered firmly to 
the peace with Spain, and the whaling troubles remained 
unappeased 3 . 

We are very imperfectly informed about the events at 
Spitsbergen in the season of 16 15. Baffin was sent away 
that year to seek for a north-west passage, but Fotherby 
was again in Spitsbergen at work for the Muscovy Com- 
pany. The exploration he accomplished, however, was 
not on the Spitsbergen coasts, where he only entered 
known harbours, but in the seas to the west. He spent 
four days in July at Cross Road, refitting his vessel after 
a storm. There he met three Danish men-of-war and a 
pinnace, sent up under the command of the Scotsman, 
Sir John Cunningham, and piloted by an Englishman 
named James Varden, to assert the sovereignty of the 
King of Denmark over this part of " Greenland." Of 

1 Record Office, Proclamation Coll. No. 30. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1611-18, p. 262. P. Jz. Twisck's 
Chrouijck, 11. p. 1684. 

3 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, Add. 161 1- 18, p. 284. 

Danish Claims 83 

course, if Spitsbergen had been part of Greenland, the 
rights of Denmark would have been incontestable. 

Gerrits relates that the English had gone so far in 
the first years of the fishery as to pay to the King of 
Denmark a tribute in acknowledgment of his rights, as 
against the Dutch. The English at first called Spits- 
bergen "Greenland" in ignorant good faith; they con- 
tinued to do so, to assert that it was not a Dutch discovery, 
and so the name stuck to the island for the best part of 
two centuries. The real Greenland was called Groneland, 
Groinland, Groenland, or Engronland to distinguish it 
from its upstart namesake. By 16 13 the servants of the 
Muscovy Company had probably satisfied themselves that 
Spitsbergen was an island. The English consequently 
changed their ground, asserted that it had been discovered 
by Willoughby in 1553, and declared it to be English by 
right of discovery and first occupation. It was formally 
annexed under the name King James his Newland. The 
annexation was not recognised by the Dutch, and was 
vigorously disputed by Hugo Grotius in several elaborate 
papers 1 . The attempted English annexation, however, put 
a stop to the payment of tribute to Denmark, which, if paid 
in 161 3, was certainly withheld in 16 14. The appearance 
ol Danish men-of-war in Spitsbergen waters in 161 5 is thus 
accounted for. Neither English nor Dutch yielded to them. 
Some of their proceedings are described in a letter written 
by Fotherby from Cross Road to Edge in Sir Thomas 
Smith Bay, which has been preserved by Purchas 2 . 

The Muscovy Company this year sent up eight big 
ships and two pinnaces 3 . Benjamin Joseph and Thomas 
Edge were again in command. The Noordsche Company 
sent eleven ships under Adriaen Block, convoyed by three 
men-of-war. Thus the Dutch were again stronger than 
the English. The two fleets did not openly molest one 
another. We hear nothing about ships of other nations, 
but it does not follow that none came up. On the north 
coast of Spitsbergen is a point named Biscay ers Hook by 

1 Muller, TV. Co. pp. 206-9. 

2 Hi. p. 731. 

3 According to Fotherby. Edge says two ships, but this figure can be 
proved wrong. Edge was often inaccurate. 

CH. viii. 6 — 2 

84 The Season of 1615 

the Dutch. Fotherby had named it Welcome Point in 
1 614. After 1 61 8, or indeed after 161 6, it can scarcely 
have been occupied by Basques, whilst in 16 14 we know 
it was not. It is probable, therefore, that French or 
Spanish ships anchored there either in this or the following 
year, and so gave their name to the site. At this time 
they would not have interfered with the operations of 
English or Dutch, who did not yet use the north coast. 
It is possible that all the fourteen Dutch ships did 
not come to Spitsbergen. The rediscovery of the island 
originally named Hudson's Touches, now known as Jan 
Mayen Island, but generally called Mauritius Island by 
the Dutch whalers and in official documents of the 1 7th 
century, seems to have suggested to the Noordsche Com- 
pany that it would save trouble with the English and yield 
good profit if some of their ships went thither for whaling. 
In 1616 the whole Dutch fleet was sent to Jan Mayen; 
it is therefore reasonable to suppose that in the previous 
year an experimental visit had been paid to that coast 
by at least one or two Dutch ships. Most of the Dutch 
whaling fleet, however, went to Spitsbergen in 161 5. 
Though afterwards it suited the convenience of the Dutch 
to claim that the modus vivendi of 1614 had been made 
not for one year only but to last till a settlement had been 
arrived at by the slow diplomatists, this year the Dutch 
themselves failed to observe its conditions, for their ships 
not only settled in Fairhaven and Horn Sound, but they 
also occupied Bell Sound in force and built a hut on the 
shore. This was probably the first building, intended to 
last, set up in Spitsbergen, though Muller states that the 
English had a hut on the shores of Sir Thomas Smith Bay 
(Foreland Sound) in 161 3. The English this year confined 
themselves to the South Harbour of Fairhaven, Sir Thomas 
Smith Bay, and Ice Sound. Both fleets returned with a 
poor cargo. 

The erection of permanent buildings for a whaling base 
was an important step. It was doubtless taken about the 
same time by both English and Dutch, as it corresponded 
with the needs of the whaling industry as then carried on. 
In the first years of Spitsbergen whaling the ships took 
up the copper boilers, casks, and so forth that they needed, 

'. • •■• * . • 

. ! : .„.A: >l '. 

L WW* ■ 

Method of the Fishery 


as well as the whale-boats and fishing o-ear. At the end 
of the season they brought them all away again. It soon 
became evident that much labour would be saved if the 
coppers, spare casks, tools, harpoons, lines, whale-boats, 
and other materials, could be left behind at some safe 
place at the end of the season. Moreover, as many men 
were employed on shore for weeks on end, it was simpler 
to house them there, whilst sheds were required to protect 
the coppers from wet whilst in use. At first tents were 
used for this purpose, and when permanent buildings were 
erected they were still called " tents " by the whalers. 

The method of the fishery was this. At the beginning 
of the season the ships sailed up together. On arrival at 
Spitsbergen they scattered to their respective bays and 
stations, made ready for the fishery and then waited for 
the whales to come in. The ships were securely anchored 
near the shore, and the whale-boats were got ready. Men 
were set on suitable points of outlook to watch for the 
coming of the whales. The best early account of the 
Spitsbergen fishery is Fotherby's in his journal of 161 3, 
from which the following description is quoted or con- 
densed. An approximately contemporary Dutch account 
is reprinted by Muller {N. Co. p. 2>Zl) from Saeghman's 
pamphlet entitled Drie Voyagien Gadaen na Groenlandt. 

"When the whale," writes Fotherby, "enters into the 
sounds our whal-killers doe presentlie sallie forth to meet 
him, either from our ships, or else from some other place 
more convenient for that purpose, where to expect him; 
making very speedie way towards him with their shallops. 
...Comeing neare him, they row resolutelie towards him, 
as though they intended to force the shallop upon him. 
But, so soone as they come within stroak of him, the 
harponier (who stands up readie, in the head of the boat) 
darts his harping-iron at him out of both his hands ; where- 
with the whale being stricken, he presentlie descends to 
the bottom of the water; and therefore the men in the 
shallop doe weire out 40, 50, or 60 fathomes of rope, 
yea, 100 or more, according as the depth requireth. For, 
upon the sockett of the harping-iron, ther is made fast 
a rope, which lies orderlie coiled up in the sterne of the 
boat, which, I saie, they doe weire forth untill they 


86 Method of the Fishery 

perceave him to be rising againe; and then they haile 
in some of it, both to give him the lesse scope, and 
also that it may be the stronger, being shorter. For, 
when he riseth from the bottome, he comes not directlie 
up above the water, but swimmes awaie with an uncon- 
trowled force and swiftnes ; hurrying the shallop after him, 
with hir head so close drawen downe to the water, that 
shee seemes ever readie to be hailed under it. When 
he hath thus drawen hir perhaps a mile or more, — which 
is done in a very short time, considering her swiftnes, — 
then will he come spowteing above the water ; and the 
men rowe up to him, and strike him with long launces, 
which are made purposelie for that use. In lanceing of 
the whale, they strike him as neare his swimming finne, 
and as lowe under water as they can convenientlie, to 
pierce into his intralls. But, when he is wounded, he is 
like to wrest the launce out of the striker's hand ; so that 
sometimes two men are faine to pluck it out, although 
but one man did easilie thrust it in. And nowe will he 
frisk and strike with his taile verie forceablie ; sometimes 
hitting the shallop, and splitting her asunder ; sometimes 
also maihmeing or killing some of the men. And, for 
that cause, ther is alwaies either two or 3 shallops about 
the killing of one whale, that the one of them maie 
relieve and take in the men out of another, being splitt. 
When he hath receaved his deadlie wound, then he casteth 
forth blood where formerlie he spowted water ; and, before 
he dies, he will sometimes draw the shallops 3 or 4 miles 
from the place where he was first stricken with the 
harping-iron. When he is dyeing, he most comonlie 
tourneth his bellie uppermost ; and then doe the men 
fasten a rope, or small hauser, to the hinder parte of his 
bodie, and with their shallops (made fast, one to another) 
they towe him to the ships, with his taile foremost ; and 
then they fasten him to the sterne of some ship apointed 
for that purpose, where he is cutte up in manner as 
followeth : Two or three men come in a boate, or shallop, 
to the side of the whale; one man holdeing the boat close 
to the whale with a boat-hook, and another — who stands 
either in the boat or upon the whale — cutts and scores 
the fatt, which we call blubber, in square-like pieces, 3 or 

Method of the Fishery 87 

4 feet long, with a great cutting-knife. Then, to raise it 
from the flesh, ther is a crab, or capstowe sett purposely 
upon the poop of the ship, from whence ther descends 
a rope, with an iron hook in the end of it ; and this hook 
is made to take fast hould of a piece of the fatt, or 
blubber: and as, by tourning the capstowe, it is raised 
and lifted up, the cutter with his long knife, looseth it 
from the flesh, even as if the larde of a swine were, 
by peece and peece, to be cutte off from the leane. When 
it is in this manner cleane cutt off, then doe they lower 
the capstowe, and lett it downe to float upon the water, 
makeing a hole in some side or corner of it, whereby they 
fasten it upon a rope. And so they proceed to cutt off 
more peeces; makeing fast together 10 or twelve of them 
at once, to be towed ashoare, at the sterne of a boat or 
shallop. Theise pieces, being brought to the shoare-side, 
are, one by one, drawen upon the shoare by the helpe of 
a high crane ther placed; and at length are hoised up 
from the ground over a vessell, which is sett to receave 
the oile that runnes from it as it is cutt into smaller peices ; 
for, whilest it hangeth thus in the crane, two men doe 
cutt it into little peices about a foot long and half a foot 
thick, and putt them in the aforesaid vessel ; from which 
it is carried to the choppers by two boies, who, with little 
flesh hooks, take in ech hand a peice, and so conveie it 
into tubbs, or old casks, which stand behind the choppers; 
out of which tubbs it is taken againe, and is laid for them, 
as they are readie to use it, upon the same board they 
stand on. 

"The choppers stand at the side of a shallop, which 
is raised from the ground, and sett up of an equall height 
with the coppers, and stands about two yards distant 
from the fournaces. Then a fir-deale is laid alon^st the 
one side of the shallop, within-board ; and upon it doe they 
set their chopping-blocks, which are made of the whale's 
taile, or els of his swimming-finne. Nowe the blubber 
is laid readie for them by some apointed for that purpose, 
as before is sett downe, in such small pieces as the boies 
doe bring from the crane. And so they take it up with 
little hand-hooks, laieing it upon their blocks ; where, with 
chopping knives, they chop it into verve small pieces, about 


88 Method of the Fishery 

an ynch and a halfe square. Then, with a short thing 
of wood, made in fashion like a cole-rake, they put the 
chopt blubber off from the blocke downe into the shallop; 
out of the which it is taken againe with a copper ladle, and 
filled into a great tubb, which hangs upon the arme of 
a gibbett that is made to tourne to and againe between 
the blubber-boat and the coppers. This tubb containeth 
as much blubber as will serve one of the coppers at one 
boiling ; and therefore, so soon as it is emptied, it is 
presentlie filled againe, that it maie be readie to be 
putt into the copper when the frittires are taken out. 
Theise frittires (as wee call them) are the small peices 
of chopt blubber, which, when the oile is sufficientlie 
boiled, will look browne, as if they were fried ; and they 
are taken out of the coppers, together with some of the 
oile, by copper ladles, and put into a wicker basket that 
stands over another shallop which is placed on the other 
side of the fournaces, and serves as a cooler to receave 
the oile being drayned thorow the said basketts. And this 
shallop, because it receaves the oile hott out of the two 
coppers, is kept continuallie half full of water ; which is not 
onelie a meanes to coole the oile before it runnes into 
cask, but also to dense it from soot and dross which 
discends to the bottome of the boat. And out of this 
shallop the oile runneth into a long trough, or gutter, 
of wood, and thereby is conveyed into butts and hogs- 
heads ; which, being filled, are bung'd up, marked, and 
rowl'd by, and others sett in their place. Then is the 
bung taken out againe, that the oile maie coole ; for 
notwithstanding ye shallop is half full of water, yet, the 
coppers being continuallie plied, the oile keeps very hott 
in the boat, and runs also hott into the cask, which some- 
times is an occasion of great leakage. Now concerning 
the finnes. 

"When the whale lies floateing at the sterne of the 
ship, where he is cutt up, they cut of his head, con- 
taining his toung and his finnes, comonlie called whalebone ; 
and by a boat, or shallop, they towe it so neare the shoare 
as it can come, and ther lett it lie till the water flowe 
again ; for, at high waters, it is drawen further and further 
upon the shoare by crabs and capstowes ther placed for 

Method of tJie FisJiery 89 

that purpose, untill, at a lowe water, men maie come to 
cutt out the finnes; which thing they doe with hatchetts, 
by 5 or 6 finnes at once. And theise are trailed further 
up from the shoare-side, and then severed ech one from 
another with hatchetts, and by one, at once, are laid upon 
a fir-deale, or other board, raised up a convenient height 
for a man to stand at, who scrapeth off the white pithie 
substance that is upon the roots, or great ends, of the 
finnes, with such scraping-irons as coopers use ; being 
instruments very fitting for that purpose. Then are they 
rubbed in the sand, to dense them from grease which 
they receave when the heads are brought to the shoare- 
side: for, whilest the whale is in cutting up, his head 
is under the water, and his finnes remaine cleane; but 
being brought neare the shoare and grounded, then doth 
the grease cleave unto them at the ebbing or falling 
of the water, which is alwaies fattie with blubber that 
floats upon it continuallie. When the finnes are thus 
made cleane they are sorted into 5 severall kindes, and 
are made up into bundells of 50, contayneing of ech sorte 
10 finnes. These bundles are bound up with coards; and 
upon ech of them ther is tied a stick, whereon is written 
some number, and the companie's mark sett ; and so they 
are made readie to be shipped." 

From the foregoing account it is easy to see how 
needful some kind of permanent base was for the whalers 
so long as the whales were good enough to come to them 
into the bays of Spitsbergen. The Dutch therefore in 
161 5 built themselves a hut in Bell Sound, on the shore 
of the bay they called Schoonhoven, the modern Recherche 
Bay. The English about the same time built a similar 
hut at Sir Thomas Smith Bay, apparently in Cove Com- 
fortless. Perhaps both English and Dutch likewise now 
built huts in Fairhaven near their respective anchorages. 
It is probable, but not recorded. 

The whalers were ordered to bring home anything 
of value they found on the shore. Sometimes, as we have 
seen, they brought home a live reindeer. Occasionally we 
read of them returning with what they at first called a 
'unicorn's horn." This, of course, was the spirally twisted 
"tusk" of the male narwhal — "mighty Monoceros with 


90 The Season of 1616 

immeasured tayles 1 " — as the whalers were not long in 
discovering, though a superstitious public were slow to 
grasp the fact. Perhaps the English whalers in 1615 
brought home such a horn from Spitsbergen. At all 
events the East India Company's fleet which sailed from 
England on the 9th of March, 161 6, and reached Surat 
on September 24th carried amongst other treasures for 
sale in the Indies a "Unicorn's Horn"." Several of the 
Muscovy Company's adventurers were likewise adventurers 
in the East India Company. The horn was offered for 
sale at a great price, as an antidote to poison, to Jehangir's 
son, the future Shah Jehan, but he refused to buy it. It 
was next offered to Mukarrab Khan for 5,000 rupees. He 
tried its effect on a poisoned pigeon, goat, and man, who 
all died! So he too refused to buy it. It was then sent 
to Achin, where also no purchaser could be found. It is 
worth mention in this connexion that Roe often cites 
"teeth" among the commodities sold by the English in 
India. Doubtless walrus tusks are intended — another 
Arctic product thus early exported to tropical regions. 

The Muscovy Company again sent eight ships and two 
pinnaces to Spitsbergen for the season of 161 6, under the 
command of Thomas Edge. He reached Spitsbergen 
about June 4th, and, as he states in the account printed in 
Purchas (in. p. 467), "appointed all his ships for their 
severall harbours... having in every harbour a sufficient 
number of expert men and all provisions fitted for such 
a voyage. This yeare it pleased God to blesse them by 
their labours, and they full laded all their ships with Oyle, 
and left an over-plus in the countrey, which their ships 
could not take in. They imployed this yeere a small 
pinnasse unto the eastward, which discovered the eastward 
part of Greenland {i.e. Spitsbergen), namely the Hand 
called now Edges Hand 3 , and other Hands lying to the 
northwards as farre as 78° ; this pinnasse was some 20 
tunnes and had twelve men in her, who killed 1,000 sea- 
horses on Edges Hand, and brought all their teeth home 

1 See Beddard's Book of Whales, p. 246. 

2 Vide the Hakluyt Society's Embassy of Sir Thomas Rowe to India, p. 290, 
and references in the footnote. 

3 Really discovered in 1614, if not in 1613, as above stated. 

The Jan May en Fishery 9 1 

for London. This is the first year that ever the Company 
full laded all their ships sent to Greenland." 

It will be observed that Edge says nothing of trouble 
with foreign competitors this year. Dunkerque 1 we know 
to have sent out seven vessels, but there is no record 
whither they went. Evidently Edge did not meet with 
them. "The Hollanders," he writes, "had this yeere in 
Greenland (Spitsbergen) foure ships, and those kept to- 
gether in odde places, not easily to bee found, and made a 
poore voyage." The fact was that the Spitsbergen voyage 
of the previous year had been unprofitable to the Dutch. 
Perhaps they recognised that contention with the English 
involved a loss of time ruinous to the voyage. Moreover 
they feared an Anglo-Danish combination against them, 
such as in fact was almost brought about in 162 1 2 . For 
some or all of these reasons the Noordsche Company 
decided to make Jan Mayen the head-quarters of the 
season's work. Zorgdrager 3 , writing almost a century later, 
states that the Dutch Jan Mayen fishery began in 161 1 and 
was very profitable till 1633. The date 161 1 is apparently 
a few years too early. The Jan Mayen fishery was not 
definitely established till 161 6. 

We learn from the instructions to the commander of 
the convoy to the Dutch whaling fleet this year, Jan Jacobsz. 
Schrobop 4 , that the ships, convoyed by four men-of-war, 
were first to sail to Jan Mayen and all make their voyage 
there, if there were whales enough. If not, one ship was 
to sail to Fairhaven, one to Magdalena Bay, one to Green 
Harbour, and one to Bell Sound. This last was to take 
possession of the hut, shallops, casks, and other provisions 
belonging to the Company which had been left behind there 
in 1 61 5. They were ordered to set up their fishery and 
cookery, even though the English should also lie there and 
try to hinder them. In that case they were to call upon 
one of the men-of-war for help. 

These were the four ships mentioned by Edge as in 
Spitsbergen waters. When the ship ordered to Bell Sound 

1 Hamy, loc. cit. p. 15. 

2 Muller, pp. 210, 242. s German edition, pp. 99, 100. 

Muller, N. Co. pp. 137, 150, 373. See also Memoire of the N. Co. in 
Mullers Mare C/ausum, p. 371. 


92 The Season of 1616 

arrived from Jan Mayen, probably rather late in the season, 
she found the Dutch hut and belongings already appro- 
priated and in occupation by the English. No man-of-war 
being at hand to help, the Dutch were unable to regain 
possession of their property. The hut thenceforward, as 
we shall see, remained in possession of the English. If the 
Dutch were right in claiming that the agreement of 16 14 
was intended to last, and in demanding its observance, they 
were wrong in settling at Bell Sound, contrary to that 
agreement. They were logically compelled either to give 
up the hut or the agreement ; they appear to have chosen 
the former alternative. The season's venture was very 
profitable to the Muscovy Company, whose ships killed 
130 whales 1 . 

It is probable that the Dutch took steps this year to 
make permanent settlements on Jan Mayen. They had 
the whole island to themselves, and were strong enough to 
chase interlopers away 2 . The different Chambers of the 
Noordsche Company built their settlements at different 
points, mostly along the north-west coast of the island. 
The chief settlement was at North Bay (English Bay of our 
chart). There were others in Smith Bay, Marimuts Bay, 
and West and East Cross Coves. In North Bay were no 
less than " ten tents " equipped with whale-boats, coppers, 
ovens, cooling vats, and so forth. It was here in 1633 that 
the seven winterers died whose pathetic journal was often 
printed 3 . Two of the cookeries belonging to the Amster- 
dam Chamber were fortified to resist " Biscay privateers 4 ." 
In August, 1699, Zorgdrager visited this settlement, then 
long ago abandoned. " I saw," he writes (p. 282), "about 
twenty shallops still lying beside one another, as in Holland 
they are laid up for the winter ; likewise two great boats, 
some oil-casks, and a great heap of thick ships' cables, 
probably four or five of them piled on one another. Every- 
thing, however, was ruined, the boats fit only for firewood, 
and the rope for making paper." He says that in its great 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1611-18, p. 392. 

2 In 161 8 King James gave the Jan Mayen fishery to the men of Hull, but 
it was a gift they could not take possession of. 

3 Churchill, Vol. II., contains an English translation. 

4 See Muller, N. Co. p. 151. 

Jan Mayeu Stations 93 

days Jan Mayen yielded so much train-oil that in one year 
two full extra cargoes of 1,000 quarteels each had to be 
fetched away in a special ship that made two voyages for 
that purpose in one season. It seems as though the settle- 
ment had been suddenly abandoned. In 1632 the ice 
prevented ships from reaching the island. That may have 
happened several years in succession. Moreover the 
whales learned to shun the dangerous locality. In any 
case* it seems strange that such a quantity of valuable 
stores should apparently have been forgotten and never 
fetched away. 




After the season of 161 6 the Noordsche Company's 
monopoly expired. They accordingly applied to the States 
General for a renewal of it, which was granted for a period 
of four years. At this time Zeeland Chambers, represent- 
ing Flushing, Middelburg, and Veere, were taken into the 
great Company. As they were the last to come in they had 
the last choice of stations. Apparently there was judged 
to be no room for them at Jan Mayen, so they had to take 
their chance at Spitsbergen. The three Flushing ships, 
with whose adventures we shall chiefly be concerned, were 
the Noatis Ark, 200 tons, Jan Verelle, master ; the Pearle, 
Huybrecht Cornelisz, master ; and the Fox, Cornells De 
Cock, master. It is evident that the English knew of the 
intention of the Zeelanders to go up, and were prepared to 
meet them. The Zeelanders of Middelburg and Veere 
went to Dutch Bay, but the Amsterdam men would not 
have them there, so they moved further eastward and 
settled on one of the Norway Islands. Their look-out 
point bore the name Zeeusche Uytkyk thenceforward on 
all Dutch charts. At the east end of the Outer Norway is 
a hill 700 feet high, commanding a fine seaward view 1 . At 
the foot of it Lamont found traces of an old Dutch cookery, 
which may have been that of these Zeelanders. 

How many Amsterdam ships went to Dutch Bay we do 
not know. The north harbour there had by now become 
one of their recognised stations, where, as at Jan Mayen, 
they had probably already built some huts. Though they 

1 See illustration facing p. 266 in Lamont's Yachting, and read pp. 266, 267. 

Composition of the Fleets 95 

forbade the Zeelanders to settle near them, they allowed two 
Danish whalers to do so, anxious perhaps to prevent them 
from making common cause with the English. It appears, 
however, from Heley's letter that the Danes had to pay 
with half their cargo for the privilege of fishing. The two 
ships " made one hundred and odde tunnes of oyle and 
laded one ship for Copenhaven, the other with halfe the 
oyle and finnes for Amsterdam, and left the country about 
the 6th or 7th of August." This Danish settlement on 
Amsterdam Island lasted for some years. The arms of the 
two countries nailed on posts were set up on shore, marking 
the limits of the settlements, Amsterdam being to the east, 
the Danish warehouse and huts to the west 1 . Thus by the 
year 161 7 we may say that the whaling station, which came 
to be known as Smeerenburg (Blubber-town) was definitely 

The main body of the Dutch fleet again went to Jan 
Mayen, whence some ships perhaps came on to Smeeren- 
burg later in the season, as was the regular habit in after 
years ; for the general movement of the whales was from 
west to east as the season advanced. Dunkerque again 
sent cut seven ships to the whale-fishery 2 , but of their 
doings we hear nothing. One interloper came from Aid- 
borough, in charge of Master Cudner, who was up in 16 13, 
and doubtless every year since. "He rid in Portnick " 
(Safe Haven), writes Heley, "where he killed eleven whales, 
and made some seventie and odde tunnes of oyle (which is 
laden aboord him) and his finnes." Heley intended to have 
overpowered Cudner, displaced his crew, put some of the 
Muscovy Company's cargo on board him, and sent him to 
London ; but the armed ship did not arrive in time. As it 
was, he offered to pay Cudner to carry some of his stuff to 
London, but he refused. "His voyage," Heley adds, "is 
by the thirds, so that his men will rather dye than forgoe 
that they have got." 

The Muscovy Company's fleet consisted of 13 ships and 
2 pinnaces. The most connected account of the principal 
events of the season is that contained in the " depositions 
of John Weddel, alias Duke, of Lymehorst, mariner, and 

1 Wassenaer, Hist. Verh. v. 157, ix. 124. 

2 Hamy, p. 15. 

CH. IX. 

96 Troubles in 161 7 

William Heley of London, draper, taken before Sir Henry 
Marten, Judge of the Court of Admiralty, on behalf of the 
Muscovy Company, concerning their voyage to Greenland 
(Spitsbergen) in the ship Dragon, May to July, 161 7, and 
their attempts to compel the Hollanders to desist from 
whale fishing there." This is the first time we hear of 
Heley in Spitsbergen. We often come across him in future 
years in the capacity of supercargo. He was a young man 
at this time, aged 22. Apprenticeship to a draper seems 
a curious introduction to Arctic adventure. Purchas (in. 
7 37) knew him and obtained much information and many 
papers from him, including " W'hole Elaborate Poems" 
written by him in Spitsbergen. 

The deposition runs as follows 1 : 

"In the Moneth of Maie 1617 about the 19th daie the 
English fleete haveing made the land (Spitsbergen) descried 
a shipp (the Fox) plyeinge out of the yce with whom they 
desired to speake, and comeing up with him found him to 
be of Flushing, the master's name Cornelius de Cooke for 
whome the Captaine (Edge) of the English sent his boate, 
and demaundinge of him if he had byn in any harbor in 
the country he answered noe, but looseinge companie of 
his consorts thought the English fleete had byn them, 
tellinge the English Captaine that there were seaventeene 
sayle of Fleminges or Hollanders upon the coast 2 , and all 
or most part of them got into harbour as he thought whoe 
came to make a voyadge on the whale. The Captaine of 
the English showed him his Majestie's graunt to the Com- 
panie and willed him by virtue thereof to departe, for if he 

1 The authorities for the following events are : — 

Depositions of Dutch and Basque sailors from the NoatCs Ark of 

Flushing, printed in Muller's A 7 . Co. pp. 402-406. 
Short account of the troubles of 161 8 included in the Coorte Deductie, 

etc. of the Noordsche Co. to the States General, 18th Sept. 1624, 

printed in Muller's N. Co. p. 395. 
Wm. Heley's Letter of 12th Aug. 1617, printed in Purchas III. p. 732. 
Depositions of English Witnesses from the ship Dragon, State Papers, 

Domestic, James I, Vol. 95 (Jan. 1618), No. 16, for the most part 

printed above. 
Edge's account in his Briefe Discoverie, printed in Purchas III. 

pp. 462-473- 
Muller (N. Co. p. 212 note) had access to other depositions by Zeeland 


2 This, of course, was bluff. Most of the ships were away at Jan Mayen. 

At Horn Sound 97 

should chance to meete him in the Contrie he wold dis- 
furnish him of all his provision, and he requested him to 
certify his countriemen if he chanced to meete with any of 
them, and then sent him aboord againe and soe departed." 

From the Flushing- witnesses we learn that Cornelis De 
Cock nevertheless entered Horn Sound on May 29th, and 
the other two Flushing ships, the Noatis Ark and the 
Pearle, came in on the following day. On the 1st of June 
the Muscovy Company's ship Nathan, Henry Smith master, 
also arrived there. "The said Flemings killed whales and 
did what pleased themselves, settinge the Englishe at 
naught, whereupon those of the said English shipp wished 
them to surcease killinge whales and depart the contrie, for 
if the Captaine of the English understood thereof he would 
take their provisions from them. They replied, if they did 
he wold make some of the English plompe for it, and that 
they wold staie and fish there in despight of the English." 

The Zeelanders sent a boat off to Bell Sound expecting 
to find a Dutch man-of-war there, and so get help. All 
they found was the English in possession, who thus learnt 
of their presence at Horn Sound. Smith also "sent word 
to the Admirall (in Bell Sound) willinge him to take some 
order with the Fleminge, otherwise his voyadge wold be 
overthrowne, and informed him of their threateninge words, 
unto whom the English Captaine writ a note willinge him 
to depart and not stay there, which if they refused he wold 
deale with them as formerly he had promised." Meanwhile 
Verelle of the Noah's Ark had killed two whales, landed 
his coppers, and got to work. The other two ships were 
likewise doing well. On receipt of Edge's letter the Zee- 
landers "promised faithfully to surcease killinge whales 
there and presently to depart and leave the contrie, willinge 
the English Capt. to give a testimoniall under his hand of 
their beinge there. And soe for three or four daies went 

The Zeelanders state that they accordingly went for 
Bear Island, where they met an English interloper whom 
we learn from Purchas to have been Marmaduke of Hull. 
Purchas says that Marmaduke persuaded them to return, 
but the Zeelanders say nothing about this. They explain 
that they returned because they could find no whales to the 

C. CH. IX. 7 

98 Troubles in 161 7 

southward. The Muscovy Company evidently believed 
this gossip about Marmaduke and were correspondingly 
annoyed. This perhaps accounts for their petition to the 
Privy Council of Jan. 22, 1618 1 , in which they protest against 
"divers of the towne of Kingston upon Hull, who have 
ever (been) and now are most troublesome and the greatest 
hinderers of the Companie." The Hull men were duly 
ordered not to interlope, but they seem to have paid no 
attention to the inhibition. 

The Zeelanders sailed back to Spitsbergen, intending, 
as they said, to find some place where the English were 
not, but finding none suitable they returned to Horn Sound, 
killing two whales on the way. It appears that they hoped 
to find a Dutch man-of-war arrived there in the meantime 
and able to defend them. But they only found two English 
ships. They state, but it is an obvious untruth, that they 
obtained permission from them to settle on the other side 
of the bay {i.e. on the north side) and to fish in the sea 
outside the cape (the Lord Worcester's Point of Baffin's 
map). On their return the Zeelanders " followed theire 
busines, hindringe the English what they cold from make- 
inge their voyadge in that harbor, whereupon a second 
information was sent to the English Captaine of theire 
insolent behavior. Who upon receipt thereof sent his Vice- 
admirall (W. Heley) with the said shipp the Dragon, give- 
inge him order to drive them from thence and disarme 
them of their provisions. But the windy weather prove- 
inge contrary it was the latter end of July ere the English 
Viceadmirall cold get into that harbor soe that the said 
Cornelist de Cooke and one of his consorts were departed 
full laden with blubber, and carried away two whole whales 
uncut up at theire sternes one day before the said Vice- 
admirall got thither, and left theire Admirall, beinge a ship 
of Flushinge (the Noah 's Ark), the Captaine and master 
John Verile, and owner Giles Bishop, behinde to outface 
and try what the English wold doe." The Zeelanders say 
that Verelle could not sail with the others because he had 
most of his stuff still on shore, to wit 1 20 hogshead of 
blubber, and all his whalebone, etc. In the ship he had 

1 British Museum MSS. Lansd. 142, f. 389. 

Spoiling the Dutch 99 

107 or 108 hogsheads of blubber and 2\ whales lying along- 
side. This for obvious reasons is probably an outside 
estimate. Purchas states that the Zeelanders hurried away, 
because they " had notice by an English Surgeon " that 
Heley was coming with his armed ship. 

"The said English Viceadmirall at his comeinge thither 
sent for the said Flemish Captaine aboord, and demanded 
of him why contrarie to his promise and handwriteinge he 
had not departed and left the contry at his first warneinge 
when he made a show of goeinge away. He replied he 
writ and promised he wold presently depart the contrie and 
be gon yet he preposed to retorne ymediately, for what did 
they wey the words or spece of the English there. Then 
the Viceadmirall told him seeinge he had dealt soe dis- 
honestly and had given out threatening words against him 
he wold take those things he had gotten in the Contrie from 
him. He answered if he did he wold make some of the 
English fleete pay for it. Whereupon the said English 
Viceadmirall finding him soe obstynate and seeinge some 
Blubber lying ashore put up into cask and two whale there 
uncut up, the blubber beinge but a small quantity, by reason 
of the other twoe ships soe late departure, did carry the 
said Blubber and whales over to the other side of the 
harbor and there left the Blubber and cask ashore, never 
making any use of it, and the whales weere driven ashore 
in a storme and all lost not saveinge any of them, as like- 
wise a copper which was sent ashore and there swallowed 
in the sandy beach 1 and never found againe by the English 
nor by them never possessed nor used. And for knives 
launcs harping yrons and such like provisions, there lay 
some few ashore which weere overworne, not serviceable 
nor beinge all to the valew of xxx/. which the English doth 
not knowe what became of, haveing enough to do to looke 
to theire shipps which rid there in a storme on life and 

I am afraid this account of the spoiling of the Noah's 
Ark is not strictly accurate. The Zeelanders say that the 
English took most of their equipment and all their blubber 
and that they saw them boil it down into oil and lade 
it aboard their own ships. This is doubtless nearer the 

1 The beach of Horn Sound is not sandy. 
CH. ix. 7—2 

ioo Troubles in 1617 

truth, for Heley in a private letter, written from Safe Haven 
(Ice Sound) on the 12th August to Mr Decrow, one of the 
London adventurers, says : "We tooke a ship of Flushing 
called the Noah's Arke... having out of him two hundred 
hogsheads of Blubber and two whales and a halfe to cut up, 
a great Copper, and divers other provisions, and sent him 
away ballasted with stones." The deposition of the four 
Basques confirms the Zeelanders' story and further states 
that the English threatened to hang the Basques at the end 
of their bowsprit, and to tie them hand and foot and throw 
them into the sea ; that they also made the Basques row 
the whales 2 miles across the sound to the English ships, 
and that they took from them "a copper, ladles, harpoons, 
lances, knives, cordage, 4 shallops, 6 cast-iron pieces with 
their carriages, musketts, powder, 2 windlasses, and many 
other things." Incidentally they mention that the English 
killed nine whales in one day. Purchas says that the ship 
contained ten cast pieces and that six were taken to prevent 
reprisals on the way home. They were returned in 

In the "said storme the Fleminge Cables breakinge 
and he forced within halfe a cables length of the shore, 
haveinge noe comand of his men, had there utterly perisht 
and byn cast awaie if the English Viceadmirall had not 
forced his owne men to the greate danger of their lives 
to carry out a warpe and laye out an anchor for the 
Fleminge and heave him further from shore when never 
a Flemynge durst nor wold once stirr his foote. And soe 
by that good meanes saved his shipp. And for his shallops 
the English never sawe but two he had, one of which is left 
remaineinge in the contrie and the other the English 
brought home, for which they gave him an English shallop. 
Likewise the said Viceadmirall sent him his ship boate to 
ballast his ship (the Fleminge havinge non) which boate 
was quite spoyled and was not serviceable for the English 
afterwards in tyme of necessity when they had use for her, 
and did otherwise deale very kindlie with him, and soe in 
friendship departed from him. But assone as the English 
Viceadmirall was gon the Flemynge sent him word the 
next year he wold hange him at his yard arme and many 
other threateninge speeches, which was all the requitall for 

Heley triumphant 101 

saveinge his shipp and doeing him diverse other kind 
pleasures 1 ." 

Alter sending off the Pleasure, deeply laden and charged 
to watch the Aldborough interloper, and despatching the 
Bear out of Cross Road to Hamburg, and the Greyhound to 
London, Heley was ready to sail home in the Dragon in a 
very happy frame of mind. "Through God's blessing," he 
wrote on August 12th, "our voyage is performed in all the 
harbours of the countrie this yeere, with a greater overplus 
than our ships will carry, so that in some places wee must 
of force leave good store of oyle and blubber behinde for 
the next yeere. We are all for the most part readie to set 
sayle, being full laden, onely I desire to see the coast cleere 
of Interlopers whereby our provisions may be left in se- 

curitie The whales killed this yeere in the Country are 

about 150 in number, and the oyle made will be about 1800 
and odde tunnes, besides the blubber left for want of caske." 

Heley further relates that " the small ship John Ellis is 
returned from the south-eastward, having made some 
further discovery and killed some 800 sea-horse (walrus), 
and laden the teeth and 30 tunnes of hides and the rest of 
his lading in oyle. He brought some sea-horse blubber 
with him. He met with Thomas Marmaduke of Hull in 
those parts, who had not done anything when he saw him 
towards making a voyage, but went for Hope Island, and 
no doubt but hee will doe much spoile there." Purchas has 
preserved a statement of Edge's that a ship of 60 tons with 
a crew of 20 men " discovered to the eastward of Greenland 
(Spitsbergen) as farre to the northwards as 79 degrees, and 
an Hand which he named Witches Hand, and divers other 
Hands" as shown on the Muscovy Company's map which 
Purchas printed. The map depicts a pinnace sailing east 
of South Cape and a whale-boat rowing up Wybe Jans 
\\ ater. This is all the information we possess about what 
must have been a most interesting expedition. 

It is unfortunate that so little has been recorded about 
the early explorations of East Spitsbergen. Dutch and 
English alike sent ships to explore there year after year, 
but both companies kept their information secret. We 
know that Hope Island and some other islands were dis- 

1 Signed "John Weddell, Willm: Heley." 
CH. IX. 

102 Troubles in 1617 

covered in 161 3. I have shown that Carolus mapped the 
south coast of Edge Island in 16 14. In 161 6 a pinnace 
rediscovered Edge Island and discovered "other islands 
lying to the Northwards as farre as 78 "; and now this 
year further discoveries were made up to 79 . A number 
of names still lingering on our maps witness the activity of 
the Muscovy Company's servants. There is the contested 
Wiches Land and there are Alderman Freeman's Inlet and 
Deicrow Sound, all named after adventurers of the Company. 
Its governor, Sir Thomas Smith, gave his name to the islands 
in what is now known as Ginevra Bay, but the name has 
been transferred to some small rocks further south. Edge 
Island and Heley Sound preserve the names of those well- 
known navigators. Stone's Foreland was another name of 
the date. It was applied to the east end of the south side 
of Edge Island. It survives in the modern Norwegian 
and Swedish Stans Foreland, whereby they (and the Dutch 
before them) wrongly designate Edge Island. Lee's 
Foreland and Cape Barkham were likewise probably named 
after persons of the same date. 

It is likely, as I have pointed out, that the first dis- 
coverers to the eastward wrongly identified Edge Island 
and its fringe of rocks and islets with the " Matsyn id est 
Plurimae Insillae" of Hondius' and other maps. Matsyn, 
as we know, was really Matoschyn, part of Novaja Zemlja, 
discovered by Sir Hugh Willoughby in 1553. It was set 
down on the maps so much too far to the west, that to 
confuse it with the later discovered Edge Island was very 
easy. This confusion was probably the reason why the 
Muscovy Company for fifty years kept claiming that Spits- 
bergen had been first discovered, not by Barents, but by 
Willoughby more than 40 years earlier. 

Of all the explorers of this region Thomas Marma- 
duke of Hull is the one we should like to know more 
about. Evidently he was one of the boldest and most 
successful Arctic navigators of the day. Notwithstanding 
the opposition of the Muscovy Company he took his ship 
yearly into the forbidden waters and found out new fishing 
grounds for himself. Sometimes the Muscovy Company 
seems to have employed him. He was the first to land at 
many points along the north coast in 161 2. He was one 

PVicJie Islands seen 103 

of the first to sight Jan Mayen. Probably it was he who 
discovered Hope Island in 161 3. While the Muscovy 
Company's ships were quarrelling with the Dutch on the 
west coast he was quietly " making his voyage " to the 
eastward. Duke's Cove (apparently the Gotha Cove of 
our chart) may have been one of his resorts on the west 
coast of Ed^e Island. 

A comparison of the Muscovy Company's map with the 
statements of Heley and Edge above quoted enables us to 
form a rough guess as to the exploration accomplished this 
year. It is clear that the south-east cape of Edge Island 
was not reached, still less rounded, for if it had been it would 
have been marked on the map. Moreover the Ryk Yse 
Islands must have been discovered, and they, as we know, 
were not seen till about 1 640-45 \ It follows a fortiori 
that this expedition did not discover the islands now known 
as King Carl's Land from the south. It was not in this 
direction that they reached 79 N. and "discovered an Hand 
which he named Witches Hand." The map indicates, what 
is likewise prima facie probable, that they devoted chief 
attention to the snores of Wybe Jans Water, which they 
followed to its northernmost extremity, where they found 
the mouth of the narrow and dangerous Heley Sound. 
Unfortunately they did not navigate this sound or walk 
along it to its eastern extremity ; but it is clear that they 
landed here on Barents Island and doubtless both hunted 
the reindeer, which the map depicts, and ascended to some 
high point of view on a clear day. Heley Sound lies in 
about yS° 36' N. They put it in about 79° 10' and made it 
run N. instead of E. In fact they made the same mistake 
that was made with Hudson's observations when the north 
coast which runs east was twisted through a right angle 
and described as running north, longitude being thus turned 
into latitude and the true latitude of 8o° thereby increased 
to 82°. The north end of the Wybe Jans Water runs far 
eastward. If it is swung round through a right angle and 
stretched a little it can be made almost to reach 79° N. 
This, and a little more than this, was what the Muscovy 
Company's cartographer did to make the map agree with 
the men's statement that they had reached 79° N. 

1 Zorgdrager, German edition, p. 200. 
CH. IX. 

104 Troubles in 1617 

From the summit of the hill they climbed, they saw in 
the far distance the south point of North East Land, now 
called Cape Mohn. They named the land Sir Thomas 
Smith Island. The day must therefore have been very 
clear. Approximately at the same distance but 30 miles 
further south lie the islands now called King Carl's Land. 
It seems highly probable that they saw them also and this 
was the land named Wiches Land. Unable to o-uess its 
distance and perhaps regarding it as the extremity of a 
larger land-mass they brought only a verbal account of it, 
which the Muscovy Company's cartographer rendered in 
the blundering fashion that has caused so much difference 
of opinion between English and Swedish geographers. 
The Admiralty chart is therefore right to retain the name 
of Richard Wiche attached to this group of islands and to 
confine to one of them the name of Kong Karl 1 . 

The events of 1617 at Spitsbergen of course gave 
rise to plenty of discussion and correspondence at home 
in the following winter. The directors of the Muscovy 
Company seem to have concluded that the best thing 
for them to do was to form a permanent settlement 
in the north. To that end it appears they obtained, 
through Sir John Merrick, British ambassador, a license 
from the Czar of Russia, "for certaine of his subiects called 
Lappes, a people lyveinge in a very cold clymate and 
a barraine soyle," to be sent with some English to dwell at 
Spitsbergen 2 . We hear no more of this wise proposition. 
It is known that the Muscovy Company tried to bribe men 
by the offer of great rewards to winter in Spitsbergen, but 
in vain. Then the Company obtained some criminals con- 
demned to death, who were promised a reprieve, on con- 
dition that they should spend a whole year in Spitsbergen. 
They were to be well supplied with food, and other 
necessaries and to be generously rewarded on their return 
after the year. The men were shipped to the north, but 
when the time came for them to be left behind, the horror 
of the place was so heavy upon them "that they preferred 
to return home and be hanged rather than stay on those 

1 See Nathorst's Tva Somar, p. 228; Geographical Journal, Aug. 1899 

PP- 155, 177. 

2 State Papers, Domestic, James I, Nov. — Dec. 1617, No. 70. 

Dutch Protests 105 

desolate shores 1 ." We are not informed in what year this 
happened, but it must have been between 1625 and 1630 2 . 

As soon as the Zeelanders arrived home they made 
complaint to the States General, which took up their case 
and sent a representative to England to demand redress. 
About the same time Sir Andrew Sinclair arrived as am- 
bassador from the King of Denmark to challenge the 
sovereignty of Spitsbergen 3 . The trouble with Denmark 
seems to have been compromised by giving to Sir John 
Cunningham 4 , a Danish naval officer, and to some Scotch 
partners, a Scotch patent, permitting them to fish for the 
whale at Spitsbergen and to import their produce into 
Scotland. No doubt Cunning-ham intended to use the 
Scotch patent as cover for Danish whalers, after the casual 
fashion of those days. The Zeeland representative fell in 
with Sinclair or some of the Scotch adventurers and con- 
cluded an arrangement for common action. They formed 
a company together, hired many of the Muscovy Company's 
servants and contracted for shipping and stores. Naturally 
the Muscovy Company did not appreciate the threatened 
competition. They approached the kindred East India 
Company and the two united to put up capital for the next 
year's fishery. This action "bluffed" the new company, 
which at once broke up, when the Muscovy Company under- 
took to take over their contracts for stores and pay ready 
money for them. But the result was obtained at too great 
cost. The enterprise was now over-capitalised and the bad 
season that followed caused the ruin of the Company. The 
Zeelanders, thus denied compensation, and disappointed in 
their hopes of getting round English opposition, looked 
forward to the season of 16 18 more enraged than ever. 


1 Pelham, God's Power, etc. 

2 After the publication of Purchas {vide in. 472) and before Pelham's 

3 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, Add., p. 553, 7th March, 161 8. 

4 "John Cunningham, a Scotchman of notable family, was Captain of the 
Trost and Chief Commander of the expedition (the Danish expedition to 
Greenland in 1605 and 1606). He is said to have travelled much and far 
before he settled in Denmark, where he became a Captain in the Navy in 
1603. He left the service in 1619, when he was made Lehnsman of Vardohuus, 
that is, Governor of the Province of Finmarken, in the north of Norway. This 
post he retained until 165 1, and he died soon after at an advanced age" 
(C. C. A. Gosch, Danish Arctic Expeditions (Hakluyt Society), Vol. I. p. xxviii). 

CH. IX. 



After all this trouble, the Muscovy Company's fleet only 
consisted of 13 ships and 2 pinnaces 1 , whilst the Noordsche 
Company sent out no less than 19 ships to Jan Mayen and 
23 to Spitsbergen 2 . They carried three commissions, one 
from Maurice, Prince of Orange, permitting them to whale- 
fish in the places they intended without molesting any 
other nation, one from the States General authorizing them 
to defend themselves if interfered with, and one from their 
owners, " wherein they gave them order not only to fish 
and defend themselves but also if they were disturbed by 
the English or anie other to the damage of a line to the 
value of a pennye to take their goodes and bringe them 
and the chiefe men and shipp and all with them to 

The numerous accounts we possess of the events of this 
year 3 enable us to discover that, at the opening of the 
season the two fleets were distributed as follows : at Horn 
Sound, 2 English and 5 Rotterdam ships and one Dutch 
man-of-war, the Tunny-fish, Captain Johnson ; at Bell 
Sound, Edge with 3 or 4 English ships, one ship of Hoorn, 
and one of Enkhuizen ; at Green Harbour, 3 Dutch ships ; 

1 Edge in his affidavit says 17. 

2 Affidavit, 15th Sept. 161 8 {State Papers, Domestic). 

3 The Dutch authorities for the events of this season are quoted by Mailer, 
N. Co. p. 217 note. He gives an abstract of their statements. For the English 
side see Edge, Dutch Disturbance, in Purchas III. pp. 466-470, and letters from 
Salmon, Sherwin and Beversham, printed in the same volume, p. 72>3- State 
Papers, Domestic, James I, Vol. 99 (Sept. 161 8), contains a number of documents 
(No. 40 is the most important), depositions of eye-witnesses of the troubles at 
the Foreland, Bell Sound, and Horn Sound, etc., from which numerous quotations 
are made above. Most of these documents are printed in full in Sir Martin 
Conway's Early Voyages to Spitsbergen (Hakluyt Society), pp. 42-65. 

At Fair haven 107 

at the Foreland, 3 English ships, 5 of Flushing, Delft, and 
perhaps Middelburg ; at Fairhaven, 3 of Amsterdam and 
one or two English. This leaves 5 Dutch and about 6 
English unaccounted for. It is possible to believe that 
they may have gone to the eastward, about which region 
we hear nothing. 

The ships of both nations that went to Fairhaven had 
no quarrels worth mention, for they were not near together, 
the Dutch being in the north harbour off Smeerenburg, the 
English in the south harbour. Their troubles were of 
another sort. A letter written on the 12th of July from 
James Beversham at Fairhaven to Wm. Heleyat the Fore- 
land tells all we care to know. "We are," he says, "and 
have been so pestered with Ice these 20 dayes that we 
have not beene able to goe out to Sea with our shallops 
above twice in the time, neither have we beene able to doe 
any good by reason of foule weather and fogs, nor have 
seene any more then one whale in all that time, which after 
shee was killed, turned us to much trouble, by reason of 
foule weather, and forced us at last to leave her in the Ice, 
where the Beares made a prey of her, who I feare will 
spoyle her before shee be recovered. We have killed six- 
teene whales besides, whereof the Flemish Biscainers stole 
one, for which they have promised satisfaction, but they are 
so shut up with Ice that they are not able to stirre either 
Ships or Shallops. All the Sea to the Northward of Hak- 
luyt's headland, and both Eastward and Westward thereof 
is packt so full of Ice, that I feare it will overthrow our 
voyage, and put our ships in much hazard, the Lord release 
us of that miserie in due time." 

Meanwhile at Bell Sound matters were not proceeding 
so peaceably. Edge was there in command of two or 
three ships and pinnaces, and we have his own account 
of what happened 1 . He says that he came into Bell Sound 
on June 3rd and met there the whale-boat of an English 
interloper 2 . Hearing that there were Dutch in Horn 
Sound, he sent John Ellis with his pinnace thither to bid 
them depart. He was on the point of going there himself 
when, about June nth, there arrived at Bell Sound the 

1 State Papers. Affidavits of Edge, Sherwin, and others. 

2 N. Woodcock, of whom we have heard before. 

CH. X. 

108 Troubles in 1618 

Engel of Hoorn and a ship of Enkhuizen. He bade them 
go away but they would not, saying that they intended 
to fish by force if necessary and that they were "expecting 
dailie fower other Flemish shipps and a man-of-war to 
come hither." The man-of-war was in fact due, but 
the ships of the Amsterdam Chamber, always selfish 
in its dealings with the other Chambers, had taken 
her with them to Jan Mayen, where her protection was 
quite unnecessary. Edge replied that " he would in 
noe hande suffer them to put out a shallop. Then they 
intreated in regard they had been longe at sea that wee 
would permit them three or foure daies to take in a little 
wood and water, and then they would departe the country 
and not molest anie of the Companie, which the said 
Thomas Edge our generall gave them leave to doe. 
Under color of which fetcheinge wood and water, they sent 
a shallop to Home sound to the States man of warr and 
generall of the Flemings." The boat returned with news 
that the man-of-war had her hands full at Horn Sound and 
could not help them, but her pilot 1 came in the boat to see 
Edge. Under his orders the Dutch set out two whale- 
boats, which the English took and hauled up on shore. 
The pilot accordingly returned to Horn Sound without 
having accomplished anything, and we may imagine that 
the captain of the Tunny-fish did not become any more 
friendly to his English neighbours in consequence. It must 
have been at this time that the Dutch at Bell Sound built 
a big wooden hut, 80 feet long by 50 feet wide, roofed with 
planks, which the English presently captured, pulled down, 
and re-erected in a position more convenient for their own 
purposes. The Dutch then said that if their whale-boats 
were returned to them they would go away and " not staye 
in any parte of the countrye. Upon which intreatie and 
faithful promise our generall gave them their shallops and 
soe aboute the 23rd of June 161 8 they wente from Bel 
sounde and went presently to Horn Sound contrarie to 
their promise." Edge thereupon set to work killing whales 
and making oil, intending later to go to the Foreland and 
drive the Zeelanders away thence, but he put off too long, 

1 Muller, p. 397. 

Edge at Bell Sound 109 

and before he was ready to sail he received news of the 
English misfortunes there, which we shall presently relate. 
All that Edge could then do was to interview the captain 
of the man-of-war, who pretended that he knew nothing of 
the matter, "seemed sorrowfull to heare such newes," made 
certain vague promises, and so departed. After the two 
Dutch ships had gone away Sherwin wrote a cock-a-whoop 
letter to Heley, saying, " Here came in two Flemmings, 
but wee handled them very honestly, but for fear of after- 
claps, or had it beene the latter part of the yeere, we would 
have handled them better. Now they be gone for Horne- 
sound. I would that they had all of them as good a paire 
of homes growing on their heads as is in this Country." 
Sherwin had heard of the bad time Heley was having 
with the Dutch, but was expecting to join him soon, 
when he promised to "comfort you with a good couple of 
Hennes and a bottle of Canary wine, but I pray bee 
carefull of your selfe and keepe you warme, and take heede 
the Nodis doe not pick out your eyes." Meanwhile they 
at Bell Sound " dranke to you and wish you many a 
Venison pasty. We have so little to doe wee feare we 
shall all have the scurvy, but we have pulled downe the 
Flemmish house and brought it neere, more fit for our 

The Hoorn and Enkhuizen ships when they left Bell 
Sound had no idea of sailing home, whatever they may 
have promised. On the contrary they went straight to 
Horn Sound to take counsel with the man-of-war's captain 
and Abraham Dircksz. Leverstein, the general of the 
whalers. The five ships at Horn Sound were all from 
Rotterdam or Delftshaven. They had already given the 
two English ships there a lot of trouble 1 . At the beginning 
ol the season the English protested against the presence of 
the Dutch, who replied, " Hither we are come to this porte 
and in this place will make our voiadge," but declared their 
intention of not interfering with the English. After a long 
discussion " the Flemings bad them holde their peace, and 
saide their shallops they must and would set out and make 
a voiadge there, and would place up their coppers by the 

1 Affidavit of Johnson, Dridle, and Henderson {State Papers). 
CH. X. 

1 1 o Troubles in 1 6 1 8 

English." They further claimed that "the harbour was 
theirs, beeinge given to the Hollanders in the yeare 1614 
by Captaine Josep." A claim to use Bell Sound was also 
advanced on the same grounds. Finally the captain of 
the Tunny-fish put an end to the palaver, saying, " My 
good friends, hould your peace ! For hither I am come 
with commission from the States to see unto theis men that 
they neither doe anie wronge nor take wrongs. And so 
longe as they staie I will staye, and when they set saile 
I will set saile. For I come not to fish nor to lade any 
goodes but to see unto them." To this of course the 
whalers had no reply. "The Tunny-fish did keepe a greate 
boat alwayes out readie man'd with twentie small shot and 
pikes to resist and hinder the English from followeinge 
their busines, and to guard the Flemish shallops." It was 
claimed that the sailors perpetrated many petty thefts. 
When protest was made, the captain of the Tunny-fish 
" in scoffeinge manner shrunck up his shoulders at it ; and 
afterwards caused divers men with musketts, swordes, and 
pikes to enter the English tent, when the men were at rest, 
to searche for one of their coopers who had upon some 
occasion kil'd a Fleminge "■ — a fairly reasonable proceeding, 
one would think. And another time it was claimed that 
they came in force at night (in June!) with about 60 armed 
men " into the Englishman's tent and carried two English- 
men, aboorde the Flemish shipp and put them into the 
Bilboes and kepte them there for five or six daies." 

Such was the strained state of affairs about June 11th 
when the Enkhuizen and Hoorn ships came in, with news 
that they had been driven away from Bell Sound. There- 
upon followed more discussions, the English vehemently 
protesting against such a number of ships fishing in one 
harbour. It appears that it was now decided by the Dutch 
to take active steps to revenge themselves on the English. 
They had three distinct grievances — the damages suffered 
in 161 3 and 161 7, for which no compensation was obtain- 
able, and the outrage, as they considered it, upon the 
Enkhuizen and Hoorn ships this year. Heley, who at 
that moment was practically alone at the Foreland, was 
the man specially detested for his behaviour last year. 
Accordingly they decided to go to the Foreland, capture 

Reprisals at Horn Sound 1 1 1 

Heley's ship and take everything from him as compensation 
for the injuries they had received. About the beginning of 
July, Leverstein in the Cat sailed away accompanied by 
the two ships of Enkhuizen and Hoorn, and one other, 
and escorted by the man-of-war for a short distance. We 
shall presently see what they accomplished. 

When news came of the events at the Foreland, yet to 
be related, one of the English ships at Horn Sound sailed 
away home, and the other joined Edge. After their de- 
parture the Dutch "burned the Englishes houses, split 
their shalloppes, and heaved their caske into the sea." 
For losses at Horn Sound the Muscovy Company after- 
wards claimed ,£4,480 for 40 tons of whalebone stolen, 
and £494. 5s. od. for "318 ton of caske, 170 bundles of 
hoopes, 8 shalloppes and two boates, a house worth 15/. 
with deale boardes and other provisions to the value of 
30/.... all which was sett on fire by the Flemings at their 
coming forth of the country 1 ." 

To complete the long story of this year's quarrels we 
have now to narrate what happened at Sir Thomas Smith's 
Bay near the Foreland. Whatever rights the Dutch may 
have had, or conceived themselves to have, on the Spits- 
bergen coasts in general, it is certain that they had no rights 
in the Foreland harbours. Those had been in the sole 
and exclusive occupation of the English for eight consecutive 
seasons, and, as Heley pointed out, were even marked on 
the Dutch charts themselves as the English harbour. It 
was an openly aggressive act, therefore, when five Dutch 
ships anchored in Sir Thomas Smith's Bay early in June, 
the English ships Pleasttre (with captains Salmon and 
Heley on board), Elizabeth, and Prudence* 1 (a pinnace), 
being already in possession. It was intended to be so. 
The Dutch knew, so they stated, what the distribution of 
the English was to be. They knew that Heley was to go 
to the Foreland. It was for that reason that three of the 
five ships that settled beside him were commanded by the 

1 State Papers, Domestic, James I (1617-19), Vol. xli. No. 83, also 
Vol. xcix. No. 37. 

2 The Prudence was still chartered by the Muscovy Company for the 
Spitsbergen voyage as late as 1629, as appears from a letter of her master 
to Mr Wyche. She served for five months, and received ^90 a month 
{Calendar State Papers, Domestic, Add. 1625-49, p. 731). 

CH. X. 

ii2 Trotibles in 1618 

three Zeeland captains Huybrecht Cornelisz, Cornelis De 
Cock, and Adriaen Peterson, with whom he had interfered 
in Horn Sound in 161 7. There can be little doubt, I think, 
that they came up with a definite plan, which was to let 
Heley's ships do a season's work, and then with the help 
of other Dutch ships brought together from other harbours 
to fall upon him, take his stuff away, and carry it home 
to Holland as compensation for last year's losses. The 
following account of what happened is based upon the 
affidavit of Heley, Salmon, and others 1 , corrected by con- 
temporary Dutch relations. 

From the beginning of the season there was trouble 
between the rival whalers. Heley in the Pleasure, and his 
two consorts the Elizabeth and the Prudence, " ships of noe 
defence haveing no ordnance in them," came into harbour 
on June 1st and met there the interloper Sea Horse, 
Nicholas Woodcock master, "who had been there off and 
on upon the coast above twenty days before and who 
departed from there the seaventh of June.... The English 
presently, upon their arrivall wente in hande to fitt their 
provisions and man'd out all the shallops they could to sea, 
cleareinge their shipps, (and) reman'd not expecting the 
comeinge of anye Flemings thither. And in foure or five 
daies after their arrivall had killed eight or nine whales 
being in good forwardness to make a speedie voiadge." 

At this time the ice incommoded them as it did the 
ships at Fairhaven. "Since our comming into the Bay," 
writes Salmon' 2 , "we have beene much troubled with Ice 
and Northerly windes, so as we have not been two dayes 
free of Ice. We had a storme Northerly which brought in 
much ice, so as we were inclosed withall eight dayes : there 
went such a Sea in the Ice that did beate our ships very 
much for foure and twentie houres, that I did thinke we 
should have spoyled our ships : but I thanke God we 
cannot perceive any hurt at all it hath done to us ; also 
we have broken two anchors with the Ice ; we have killed 
13 whales, but they yeeld but little, in regard of the Ice 
which hath much hindred us in our worke, for in ten dayes 
we could not doe any worke the Bay was so full of Ice : 

1 State Papers, Domestic, James I, Vol. 99 (Sept., 1618), No. 40. 

2 To Sherwin, June 24 (July 4), Purchas ill. 733. 

At the Foreland 113 

the Bay was full as low as Fox-nose, and now at this present 
the Bay is full of shattered Ice, the windes hanging 
Northerly keepes it in." 

On June 19 (9) the three Zeeland ships came in, being 
the Fortune of 400 tons "with eighteene cast pieces besides 
brasse bases and murtherers, the St Peter (300 tons, 
18 guns), and the Salamander (200 tons, 14 guns), who 
came to anchor close by the English shipps and presently 
fitted their shallops out to sea, haveinge great store of 
Biskeners, and set foure or five shallops from each shipp 
and landed their caske and other provisions. Which the 
English seeinge, the saide William Heley, sent for the 
Captaine of the Admirall of the Flemings, willing him to 
rowe aboorde, who retourned answer he had other busines 
to do. Then the saide William Heley went ashoore and 
toulde those Flemings that were ashoore they must not 
remaine there, willing them to wish their Captaine come a 
shoare. They answered thither they were come and there 
they must stay and would place their coppers close by the 
English, saieinge, 'Where is your Dragon 1 nowe ? You 
thinke to doe as you did the last yeare, but we are fitted for 
you nowe, and wilbe even with you for the last yeares 
work." Presently Cornells De Cock and Adriaen Peterson 
came ashore and Heley talked with them, saying amongst 
other things, " There was not any Dutch or Flemish ship in 
this harbour before. It is called 'the English Bay' by the 
Flemings themselves, and so set down in their plats or sea- 
charts 2 ." His protests, however, were addressed to deaf 
ears. The Dutch say that when they landed their coppers 
and were for building a hut the English interfered and 
prevented them 3 , which, considering the overwhelming 
force of the Zeelanders, is unlikely. 

It was not till June 21 (11) that Heley met Huybrecht 
Cornelisz on shore. It is stated that he was drunk at the 
time. At all events he behaved in an excited manner, laid 
hand on one of the English coppers and called his men to 
come and pluck it up and carry it away ; and he called 

1 Heley's armed ship of the previous year. 

2 I have not yet been able to find any Dutch whalers' charts of Spitsbergen 
of so early a date as i6i8. The earliest I know is that engraved by A. Goos in 

3 Memoire in Muller, Mare Clansu?n, p. 372. 

C. ch. x. 8 

1 1 4 Troubles in 1 6 1 8 

Heley a "Skellam 1 Rogue; and with a knife ready 
drawne in his pocket stab'd at him ; and had there kil'd 
him if Michaell Greene had not held him by force, and 
diverse English come thither presently. And then he bid 
the English 'fish, fish,' and he and his associates would 
take away all their oyle and would sinke them presently, 
and so in greate rage departed." Next day there was some 
kind of apology made by Huybrecht, who asked Heley to 
give him an old boat, which he agreed to do, and so for the 
nonce the quarrel was patched up. 

At this time two Middelburg ships came in and anchored 
with the others, " the one haveinge fourteene caste pieces, 
and the other twelve, beeinge shipps of greate burthen, 
who likewise placed up Coppers, man'd out shallops, and so 
over preste the English with a greate number of boates, 
seekinge all the meanes they could to overthrowe the 
voiadge of the English. Yet through God's blessinge and 
their painefull labors they kill'd more whales then all the 
Flemings and were like to make a greate voiadge there if 
they could have beene in quiet." 

The next quarrel was about a whale, said to have been 
killed by the Biscayers in English employ but appropriated 
by Huybrecht. Heley spoke to him about it. In reply he 
" saide if shee belonged to the English he would restore 
her, and saide he was very sorrie for the former wronge he 
offred and woulde not have donn so much for one hundred 
poundes if he had not beene animated thereunto by his 
men. Saying, he was in drincke, and desired it mighte be 
forgotten and to be friends, proffringe greate kindnes to 
the English, but kepte the whale." 

It is probable enough that the Zeelanders did not love 
Heley, but they seem to have been friendly with other 
English officers. Thus Salmon wrote, " Here is five sayle 
of Flemminges, which have fourteene and sixteene pieces 
of Ordnance in a ship ; and they doe man out 18 shallops ; 
so that with theirs and ours here is 30 shallops in the Bay, 
too many for us to make a voyage : there is at least 1 500 
tunnes of shipping of the Flemmings ; we have reasonable 

1 Dutch Schelm = rogue. 
" She tauld thee weel thou wast a skellum, 
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum." (Burns, Tarn O^Shanter.) 

At the Foreland 115 

good quarter with them, for we are merry aboord of them, 
and they of us ; they have good store of sacks (?sack), and 
are very kinde to us, proffering us anything that we want. 
I am very doubtfull of making a voyage this yeere, yet I 
hope Crosseroad 1 will helpe us for one ship, the Company 
must take another course the next yeere : if they meane to 
make any benefit of this Country, they must send better 
ships that must beat these knaves out of this Country, but 
as farre as I can understand by them, they mean to make a 
trade of continuance of it :...we will let them rest this yeere, 
and let who will take care the next yeere, for I hope not to 
trouble them." 

On one occasion when Heley and Smith were on board 
De Cock's ship, De Cock "said that our king of England 
was a Scotchman." At this point the official of the Court 
of Admiralty adds in the margin, " A gross and intolerable 
abuse to his Majesty! " He further said that King James' 
picture " stood at Flushinge with an emptie purse by his 
side. Which words the saidd English not brookeninge the 
said Cock to stopp their mouthes would presently fall down 
on his knee and drincke half a grlasse of wine to the Kinoes 
Majestie's healthe, and sit and drinke half a glasse of wine 
to the Prince of Orrange his healthe." 

It is clear that thus far Heley was in no fear of being 
overpowered, for it was not till July 4 (June 24) that he 
sent a boat with letters to Edge and Sherwin at Bell Sound 
asking for help. If Edge had come at once the upshot 
would have been different, but he sent a letter, which 
arrived on July 12 (2), telling Heley to inform the Dutch, 
that if they did not depart he would presently come and 
turn them out. To this message they replied, "We don't 
care. Let him come and do his worst. We will stay and 
fish. Our force is greater than yours." It seems clear, 
however, from the statements of the Dutch themselves that 
the prospect of Edge's coming precipitated matters. At 
this time Heley sent the Elizabeth away to a harbour at a 
distance of 8 leagues, "whither" the Dutch "sent shallops 
likewise, where she had beene full laden with an overplus, 
if they would have suffered her there in quiet and whither 

1 The small ship Prude7ice was there. 
CH. x. 8—2 

u6 Troubles in 1618 

they sent to take her and so forced her to departe out of 
the countrie." 

The four Dutch ships, which we have seen departing 
from Horn Sound came into the Foreland harbour on July 
26 (16). It will be remembered that two of them were the 
ships that Edge had driven away from Bell Sound. They 
anchored close by Heley's ship the Pleasure, which was 
now quite alone, the Prudence being in Cross Road. "The 
Admirall of which foure Flemminges (the Cat) caused a 
pointe of warr to be sounded as he came by the English 
Viceadmirall, and let fall his anchor in her quarter, close 
by her ; and one of the other shipps harde by in the bowe 
of her." Abraham Dircksz. Leverstein, captain of the Cat, 
seems thenceforward to have taken the lead among the 
Dutch. Heley says that Leverstein was a man of "bad 
carriadge and mean condicion," very inferior to the other 
captains who put him forward for that reason, wishing thus 
to escape responsibility for a nasty business. He adds that 
he was "a simple fellowe and one that had beene saile- 
maker but two yeares before, and one so addicted to drincke 
that the Captaine of the man of warr saide he had seene 
him druncke twentie daies together." All this was prob- 
ably mere scandal, for Leverstein was the son of one of the 
chief Dutch adventurers 1 . The Dutch, on the other hand, 
called Heley " een Jonck ende outrequidant per soon sick zeer 
violentelyck comporterende" a description that he would not 
have accepted any more than Leverstein Heley's. 

On July 27 (17) the Dutch held a council, "where they 
drew orders for surpriseing and takeinge the English," but 
the Enkhuizen captain refused to join them, saying " he 
came not to robb men but to fish for a voiadge," and so 
" weyed anchor and wente out of the harbor." The meeting 
of the Dutch captains then sent for Heley, who, after 
many refusals, declarations that they would have to come 
and fetch him by force, and the like, ultimately went to 
them in company with Salmon and Wilkinson. He was 
thereupon informed that the Dutch intended "to take all 
the oile and goodes the English had there, and if he would 
yeelde, then they would be table brothers and friends ; if 

1 Muller, N. Co. p. 391 note. 

An angry Dispute 117 

not they would presently haule aboorde and sinke him — 
Presently Hubrighte, useinge his former language of Skel- 
lam Rogue, made shew and proffered two or three times to 
goe out of the cabben and to sinke our shipp whilst we 
were in conference together." High words followed. The 
Dutch told " us that the countrie was theirs, askinge us how 
we durste doe as we had doone formerly in their countrie ; 
and though the Hollanders had lefte it, they would not 
loose it. Now we should not put them by it, they beeinge 
the first discoverers thereof. And if we came againe and 
fish there anie more it should bee in some such harbors as 
they would allot us after they had made a devision of the 

" Before we went of from their shipp side, they had laid 
out two warps, one from the generall and the other from 
Cock, and so heaved aboorde of us ; and there offred, with 
weapons drawne to enter our ship, shee beeinge all open 
and unpriddye, and very few men aboorde of her, rideinge 
with yardes and top-masts downe. Yet not likeinge so 
well to enter they fell from the side again and continued 
their warps fast till the 18th day at nighte. And then 
beeinge much winde, we sent for some of our sea-men that 
were neere hande to come aboorde, who presently hauled 
up their boates and came by lande, a very bad journey." 

"The 19th daye of Julie in the morneinge, beeinge 
Sonday, wee got up our top-masts and fitted our shipp soe 
well as we could to defend ourselves. It beeinge then 
faire weather and little winde they put abroade their wast 
cloathes, bloodie colors, and discharged diverse small 
shott, layed out warps to heave cleere one of another 
and brought five broade sides," those of the Fortune, St 
Peter, Salamander, Cat, and Engel, " to beare on us, of 
greate force, hemminge us in and overlayeinge our kedger 
to keepe us we should not weye." Thereupon a further 
summons to yield was sent, and more discussion followed. 
F inally, " Master Salmon went aboarde the Generall, think- 
inge to have founde him in a better minde, but contrarily 
he founde him readie to begin, saieinge his glasse was 
turned one out and the other halfe run, and if we did not 
yeelde before that was out he would begyn ; and if we 
shott a shot againe, he would pilladge and use us cruelly. 

CH. x. 

1 1 8 Trotibles in 1 6 1 8 

And one aboarde of him (beeinge either the Master of the 
shipp or rather the States man of wars pilott) saide, ' Let 
us begin, and not loose any more time.' 

"Then, as soone as Mr. Salmon came aboorde, the 
generall began to let flie, and the rest seconded him, so fast 
as they could ply their ordnance, musketts, and murtherers ; 
and shott divers at our Flagg, and through our shipps hull, 
and killed us a man in the fore top, looseinge our fore 
topsaile before we shot at them againe, for that our men 
were most busie in seekeinge to set saile that we might the 
better have dealte with them. And if God had not shewed 
his greate mercie towards us, they had then spoiled most of 
our men 1 , and blowne up our shipp. And so they con- 
tinued, still shooteinge and killinge and spoileinge our men. 
And haveinge no sooner plide our broade side on them, and 
got our shipp under saile through them, and makeinge our 
ordnance readye againe, but they shot our sailes downe 
(and) cut all their cables, followeinge and forceinge us 
either to rune a shoare or come to an anchor, bideinge us 
stop our leaks to keepe us from sinkeinge. We then, bee- 
inge unable to make resistance againste so manie, they 
came aboorde of us, armed, and disarmed our ship of all 
her ordnance, powder, and munition, comandeinge our men 
to goe ashoare, pilladgeinge everye thinge they could laie 
hands on, drinkeinge out our beere, carrieinge away our 
victualls, and doeinge what pleased themselves. Which the 
saide William Heley beeinge much agrieved at, tould the 
Generall, although he had taken the shipp, he hoped he 
would not suffer his men to carrie away poore mens cloathes 
and our victualls, and drincke out our beere, haveinge little 
enough to carrie them home. And bid the Generall if he 
would have them drinke, to send beere from his owne shipp, 
for he would not allow them anie there. The Generall 
replied, ' How dare you denie my men beare or speake to 
me ? I will presently send and fetch your beare out of your 
shipp,' and proffered to breake up our bread rome (room), 
and many other violences too intolerable." 

" Further... the saide Generall and the other commanders 
of the Fleminges beeinge in the Pleasure cabin, and seeinge 

1 Edge says there were only seven on board, but perhaps he refers to 
July 17th. 

English Ships captured 1 1 9 

the picture of Sir Thomas Smithe, Knight, there, demanded 
whose image it was. The said William Heley toulde them 
it was the picture of the worthie Governor of their com- 
panie of merchants in England, and one he hoped would 
seeke meanes to have our wronges redressed and sufficient 
satisfaction for the injuries sustained. ' Oh ' ! saide they, 
' that Sir Thomas Smith is a greate man. He hath money 
enough to lend the Kinge. He can do what he will with 
speakinge. What care we for him ? ' So haveinge taken 
away all our oile, fyns, ordnance, powder, and diverse other 
things, as per the particulers appeareth, overthroweinge our 
whole voiadge and takeinge the other shipp Prudence there 
in companie with us, they bid us goe kill more whales for 
ourselves if wee would. 

" And after our shipp was taken, worde beeinge brought 
to the Generall that some of the English men were kil'd, he 
said it was no matter and they were all kil'd ; sayinge they 
had time enough to yielde, and that he shott five or sixe 

shott at their flagg before he shot the shipps hull For a 

farewell, as one of our shallops was goeinge ashoare to fill 
some freshe water, they shot a greate shot throwe her to 
spoile the men in her." They finally departed and left the 
English on Aug. 3 (July 24). It was thus Heley 's turn 
this year to sail home ballasted with stones. 

What the damage actually done by the Dutch amounted 
to is difficult to arrive at. They say they took 470 quar- 
teels of oil, a small quantity of dirty whalebone, and the 
armament of the Pleasure. The English claim for damages 
was as follows 1 : 

Taken from the Shipp Pleasure. £ s. d. 

100 tons of oil at ^15 1500 o o 

7 coils of rope at £4 28 o o 

20 New Lances at 5/- . 500 

1 Fowling Peece . . . . . . . . 1 10 o 

Beer, Steward's stores, and other Provisions . . . 20 o o 

1554 10 o 
From the Shipp Prudence. 

30 tons of oil at ,£15 450 o o 

1 ton of beer 300 

453 o o 

1 State Papers, Domestic, James I, Vol. 41, No. 83, and Vol. 99, No. 37. 
CH. x. 

i2o Troubles in 1618 

From the shore in Sir T. Smith's Bay. 

33 tons of oil at ,£15 495 

Blubber which would have made at least 40 tons of oil 

at ,£15 . ; . 600 

Fynnes (whalebone) of 130 whales, being the gathering of 
the fynnes in that harbor 3 yeeres before at a ton for 
each whale, 130 tonnes at 12c/. per lb. (,£112 per ton) . 14560 

£ s. d. 

15555 o o 

These sums added to the ,£4,974. $s. od. claimed for damages 
at Horn Sound made a total of ,£22,536. 155. od. ; but the 
Muscovy Company's clerks made a mistake in their addition 
and the sum claimed was ,£100 more. 

They further claimed ,£43,800 on the following grounds, 
though this part of their claim was not seriously pressed 
and was dismissed by King James. "In primis the Com- 
pany provided the last yeere 2,600 tonnes of caske, to- 
gether with the like quantity of shipping, for the bringing 
home of much oyle and fynnes, but the disturbance of the 
Flemings was such in all the harbours as that there is not 
brought into England above 600 tonnes of oyle, so that the 
Company is damnified by their disturbance, through inforc- 
ing them out of their harbours in the cheese time of the 
yeere to the cost at least of 1,800 tonnes of oyle at 15/. per 
ton is 27,000/. and 150 tonnes of fynnes at \2d. per lb. 
16,800/. in all is ,£43,800. 

Some totall is ,£66,436. \$s. od. 
Besides the wounding and killing of one man, with the 
spoyle of their shipping and their furniture to the great 
damage of the owners, which they are ready to make 
knowne, viz. as Ordinance, powder, musketts, lances, etc. to 
the vallue of " (unstated). 

The Dutch were probably right in contending that this 
claim was exaggerated. 

The Dutch divided the plunder//^ rata among the five 
ships which had taken part in the exploit and carried it 
safely home, where it was handed over to the Dutch 
Admiralty and officially partitioned between the four 
Chambers that sent out those ships. 

Some of the Dutch whalers hung about the Spitsbergen 
coast after the main body of the fleet had sailed. Wilkinson 
in the Prudence, as soon as he was set free, went to work 

English Damages 121 

killing whales again and boiling down oil, so he cannot 
have been deprived of his equipment. On his way home 
he was stopped by three Dutch ships, who called him on 
board and kept him for 16 hours "and sent men aboorde to 
ransacke and searche his shipp, threateninge to carrie him 
into harbor againe and take all he had then in him, and 
useinge him very unkindlie." 

The worst individual sufferer was Robert Salmon, for 
he was the owner of the Pleasure and depended largely on 
her for his livelihood. He said in his complaint that the 
Dutch did " take away all herr ordnance, powder, shott, 
musketts, piks, cables, sailes, and all other provisions what- 
soever, and did so batter an.d spoile her with ther ordnance, 
together with the takling and Apparrell that shee was in 
greate danger of sinkeinge... to the utter undooing of your 
poore petitioner his wife and children." In the end he got 
back his ordnance and 3,600 florins to be divided between 
him and an unnamed Scotsman. Salmon and other English 
whalers believed that Sir Thomas Smith Bay was thence- 
forward unlucky. Thus in 1621 Salmon wrote, "I doe 
verily persuade my selfe that God is much displeased for 
the blood which was lost in this place, and I feare a per- 
petuall curse still to remaine yet." Catcher, in 1633, wrote 
that " manie say still it is impossible to make a voyage" in 
the same bay " by reason that the Flemings shed blood 
there 1 ." 

The general result of the season was not good either for 
Dutch or English, cargoes being small, but the Dutch com- 
forted themselves by relating the tale of their exploits. We 
may be sure they lost nothing in the telling. Carleton, the 
English envoy to the Hague, relates 2 , " Nous auons en ces 
iours passez la nouuelle chantee icy a la Haye, a bouche 
ouverte et visage asseure, dans la Court, et par les rues, 
avec les particularitez tant des pieces d'artillerie, et des 
tonneaux d'huyle prises et divisees en mer, comme des 
hommes tuez et blessez, et le tout receu avec grand ap- 
plaudissement et triumphe, comme d'une victoire gaignee 
sur les ennemis. Eo audaciae perventum est." In England 
loud complaints were raised against the Dutch, not only for 

1 Purchas III. 735, 737. 2 Muller, N. Co. p. 218. 

CH. X. 

122 Troubles in 1618 

their doings in Spitsbergen, but for the injuries inflicted by 
them on English traders in the East Indies. King James 
took the matter in hand. Protests were lodged at the 
Hague. Glad though the Dutch no doubt were, to have 
humbled the Muscovy Company's pride, they did not want 
a serious quarrel with England. Commissioners were 
accordingly sent at once to London " to settle the East 
Indian and Greenland disputes 1 ,'' and the old diplomatic 
wrangle began again. 

The Dutch representatives were instructed to work for 
a regulation of the Spitsbergen fishery and a division of the 
bays. It was March before the question came to a hearing, 
and July before the King pronounced his decision. This 
was done with some ceremony on July 15th in the hall of 
the Merchant Tailors' Company, by Lord Digby and other 
commissioners appointed for that purpose. The upshot of 
it was that King James adhered to his claim of sovereignty 
over Spitsbergen, but would not enforce it for three years, 
during which interval both English and Dutch were to have 
access to the fishery. The Dutch were to return the stolen 
goods within 3 months or their value ,£22,000, and to pay 
damages within 3 years, and then the Muscovy Company 
was likewise to make restitution, " forasmuch as the goods 
taken heretofore by the English from the Dutch... were 
taken by His Majesty's Warrant and authoritie," whilst 
those "taken by the Dutch from the English Anno 1618... 
were taken by way of depredacon and without any warrant 
from their superiors 2 ." 

Neither within three months nor within three years was 
restitution made or damages paid, for there was really no 
force to compel such payment. The fault was throughout 
the English Government's. If it meant to annex Spits- 
bergen it ought to have sent men-of-war to protect its 
whalers, as the Dutch did. The real fact was that the 
English Navy was in a bad way. Here is a report of the 
condition of the Navy in this very year 161 8. 

" The King's navy in charge uppon the books of ordi- 
nairie payments containeth ships and names of ships (sic) in 
al of al sorts — 43 ; whereof 29 are esteemed serviceable/' 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, Add. 1611-18, p. 576. 

2 State Papers, Domestic, James I, Vol. 109 (May — July, 1619), Nos. 122, 135. 

The Kings Navy in 1618 123 

though some need repairs; "the other 14 are al decayed 
and unserviceable to bee put out of charge and new built in 
their roome. The serviceable are 

4 Ships royal — 

Prince royal .... 


Merhoneur .... 

Anne- Royal .... 
9 great ships from 700 to 800 tons. 
4 midling ships from 400 to 250 tons. 

3 small ships from 200 to 150 tons. { 

6 pinnaces from 100 to 20 tons. 

Total 1 1,410 tons, 5,155 men* at sea in the effective ships. 
So it appeareth that the Navie is now weaker then it was 
the last of Q. Eliz. by 6 good ships, a lighter, and a ketch, 
and in tonnage 3,250 tonnes, beside the decay of the 


Men at Sea 





CH. X. 




The reported language of King James' decision does 
not tell us under what terms Dutch and English were to 
fish together in Spitsbergen during the three neutral years. 
Before that decision had been pronounced, however, the 
whalers of both nations were at work. One of the Dutch 
propositions for a settlement had been that Spitsbergen 
should be divided at Cape Cold on Prince Charles' Fore- 
land, and that all north of that should belong to one 
country ; all south to the other 1 . What actually happened 
was that the Dutch in 1619 and thenceforward confined 
themselves to the north-west corner and north coast, and 
that the English kept all the other west coast bays. About 
the fishery round Edge Island we hear nothing. 

Thus in 1619 eleven Dutch and Danish ships occupied 
Mauritius or Dutch Bay and its neighbourhood 2 . The 
Danes sent up two ships furnished with a passport from 
the King; " Ausquels navires alors pour certain regard 
fust permis et admis (toutes fois sans prejudice) de faire la 
Pesche des Baleines, avec ceux de ces Paijs avecq deux 
navires et pas d'avantage 3 ." We may conclude that more 
sheds were erected at Smeerenburg (just opposite to where 
poor Andree set up his balloon-house), and that Blubber- 
town began to take shape, the Dutch occupying the east 
half of the shore, the Danes the west half. The English 

1 Middlehoven's map of 1634 shows this division, and may be a copy of a 
map sent over with the Commissioners in 1618. 

2 This year three Dutch men-of-war convoyed the whaling fleet. In 1620 
only one, afterwards none for four years. Muller, p. 100. 

3 Memorial quoted by Muller, N. Co. p. 407. 

*<w Ji 

Ice-cliff at the end of a glacier in Recherche Bay, from a 
photograph by Mr C. T. Dent. 

i6ig] A fatal Accident 125 

fleet under Edge consisted of nine ships and two pinnaces. 
They occupied Fairhaven or the English harbour (five 
ships), Sir Thomas Smith Bay, Bell Sound, and Horn Sound. 
They took up a Russian house to erect at Sir Thomas 
Smith Bay, where Heley was again in charge. The season 
was destined to be an unlucky one. The concentration of 
so many ships in the north-west began to frighten the whales 
and "put them by their usual course." We shall presently 
see that within 20 years the whales entirely forsook the 
north-west angle of Spitsbergen for this reason. The five 
English ships at Fairhaven did badly. There were few 
whales at the Foreland. Heley had some trouble there 
with the Russian house, and received instructions " that, if 
you cannot set it up, that then you should make an English 
house of it, and to place the post of a deales length, and to 
be three deales in length, and so much in breadth, and so 
to cover it with deales the next yeare, and so he (Edge) 
thinketh that it will make two frames : also hee could wish 
that you would remove the Coppers more up into the Bay"; 
all which is somewhat obscure. 

At Bell Sound a dreadful accident occurred to one of the 
ships (Mr Bush's ship), aground off the end of a glacier. 
The following is John Chambers' description of the event 
in a letter written to Heley on June 16th : 

" I am forc't to write in teares unto you for the losse of 
our men, bv the most uncouth accident that ever befell unto 
poore men. The 13th of June last we were put ashore in 
the Ice Bay, our Shallops being not aboord : but as soone 
as wee heard of it, we made what haste we could, and haled 
our shallops upon the Ice, and went aboord our ship. By 
that time we had beene there an houre, making what 
meanes we could to get her out, a maine peece of the Cliffe 
falling, the fearefullest sight that ever I beheld beeing then 
aboord, expecting nothing else but death, with all the rest 
that were in her : But God of his great mercie and Provi- 
dence delivered us, that were not then appointed to dye, 
that were past all hope of life ; for the Ice fell so high and 
so much, that it carried away our fore-Mast, broke our 
maine-Mast, sproung our Bouldstrit, and fetcht such a 
careene that she heaved a piece of Ordnance over-boord 
from under our halfe Decke, hove me over-boord amongst 

CH. XI. 

126 Marmadukes Misfortune [1619 

the Ice in all the sea, and yet I thanke the Lord I was 
never hurt with a piece of Ice, although it pleased God 

they were spoyled (wounded) and killed close by me 

The men that are killed are these, my Mate Money, 
Nicholas Greene, and Allin the butcher. There be many 
more hurt, which I hope will recover it, by the helpe of 
God and the meanes of a good surgeon." 

After this accident things did not go well, for they were 
pestered with ice, apparently in every harbour down the 
coast. Northerly winds kept the harbour in Bell Sound, 
which they call Ice Bay (the modern Recherche Bay), full of 
ice. Easterly winds filled Horn Sound. The South Cape was 
so infested with ice that an attempt to get eastward failed. 
"This Ice," we read, "hath put in young Duke (Marma- 
duke) of Hull into Home sound, his ship being much torne 

with the Ice His voyage is utterly overthrowne, 

for he hath lost one shallop with sixe men, and another 
shallop broken with the Ice, his Ruther (rudder) irons 
being all broken, his Steeme broke away close to the 
Woodinafs." This reference to Marmaduke further con- 
firms the suggestion already made that the Hull men at 
this time were wont to frequent the eastern region, and that 
is why they seldom came in contact with the Muscovy 
Company's men. A ship of Flushing was likewise " beaten 
very sore " by the ice and thought likely to be wrecked. 
Nor was this the end of the year's accidents, for a boat sent 
with letters between Edge and Heley was likewise cast 
away and all the men lost 1 . 

These serious troubles probably gave their sufferers 
something to think of besides their old score against the 
Dutch. Yet that was not forgotten ; for Salmon (the chief 
sufferer in 1618) on the 15th of July wrote to Heley, "I 
understand by Master Catcher's letter that there is eleaven 
saile of Flemmings and Danes" at Mauritius Bay. "I doubt 
not but we shall call them to account of how many tunnes 
of Oyle they have made, as they did call us the last Voyage 
to account. My love is such unto them that I protest I 

1 So says Edge in Purchas til 469; but it is difficult to understand, for the 
boat sent by Heley to Edge arrived safely at Bell Sound on July 5th, and we 
possess a letter sent back by the same boat to Heley, which must therefore 
likewise have arrived safely. 

1620] Dutch Enterprise 127 

could wish with all my heart that we might goe and see 
them, and to spend my best blood in the righting of our 
former wrongs. Also I understood by Robert Foxe that 
Adrian of Flushing is one of them. I should be very glad 
to see him that I might balance the account with him." 

To complete the catalogue of the Muscovy Company's 
misfortunes in 16 19, one of their ships was lost near 
Yarmouth on her way home. To make matters worse the 
Dutch succeeded in smuggling their oil into England and 
actually underselling the Company in its own market ! The 
Company in disgust put up their whaling rights and plant 
for sale. They were bought in by four of the brethren, 
Ralph Freeman, Benjamin Decrow, George Strowd, and 
Thomas Edge. Henceforward Edge seems to have gone 
no more on active service but to have acted as manager at 

The whaling fleet sent out in 1620 by the new partner- 
ship under the command of William Goodlad or Goodlard 
and Heley consisted of seven ships. This is the first time 
we hear of Goodlad. His name will be of frequent occur- 
rence in succeeding years. Edge briefly states that the 
English ships, " by reason of great store of Flemings and 
Danes in the Northernmost Harbours, had ill successe to 
the northwards and were forced to passe from Harbour to 
Harbour to make a Voyage, but could not, and so returned 
home halfe laden with 700 tuns of oyle." As the value of 
this cargo, the corresponding amount of whalebone being 
added, was over £1 7,00c) 1 , it is probable that the season's 
work was not unprofitable. 

A letter written from Catcher 2 at Fairhaven to Heley 
enables us to deduce some not unimportant facts. The 
Dutch had only two great ships, protected by a man-of-war 
off Smeerenburg. Yet they manned out 18 whale-boats. 
It may reasonably be concluded that most of these boats 
and their equipment were permanently kept at Smeeren- 
burg, seeing that three whale-boats to a ship was the usual 
allowance then. The two ships must have brought up 
double crews, as was their later habit during the great days 
of Smeerenburg. The Danes, this year, did not occupy 

1 Reckoning oil at ,£15 per ton and whalebone at ^1 12 per ton. 

2 Purchas in. 735. 

CH. XI. 

128 A French Company [1621 

Mauritius Bay in company with the Dutch, but were 
with the English in Fairhaven. When Catcher wrote 
there were two Danish ships arrived and two more 
expected. These ships doubtless belonged to a Copen- 
hagen whaling company just founded. One Braem was at 
the head of it. The English in 1619 had agreed to let the 
Danes fish with them as some concession to the King of 
Denmark's claim to sovereignty over Spitsbergen. They 
made it a condition, however, " that this liberty must not 
be transferred to any other nation by them 1 ." It appears 
that the Danes did not abandon their rights to their huts 
on the Smeerenburg flat. 

In the following year, 162 1, the four English adven- 
turers again sent seven ships besides one to the south-east 
for discovery, about whose doings we know nothing. They 
made 1,100 tons of oil, which must have given them a good 
profit, though it was stated that the Flemings and Danes 
" upset their voyage " at Fairhaven. The whales came in 
well at the Foreland, and six were killed, but then no more 
were seen for a long time. " We have not seen a whale 
this 14 days," writes Salmon 2 , "and faire weather is as 
scarce as the whales ; for ten daies together nothing but 
blow, sometimes southerly and sometimes northerly." 
Heley, for the first time, was not at the Foreland, but at 
Bell Sound, which now became and henceforward remained 
the English head-quarters. English and Dutch had now 
finally settled down at the sites they were to occupy as long 
as the fishery lasted. 

This year there was founded the French " Royale et 
Generale Compagnie du Commerce pour les voyages de 
long cours es Indes occidentales, la pesche du corail en 
Barberie, et celle des baleines." Whether it sent whalers 
to Spitsbergen we cannot say. Nothing is heard of them. 
This company likewise traded with the north of Russia. 

The same English fleet, with the same enigmatic ship 
for discovery, went up in 1622. By this time East Spits- 
bergen must surely have been well known, yet we never 
hear of the ships of either the Dutch or English companies 
going to fish there. Modern explorers have found traces 

1 State Papers, Domestic, James I, Vol. 105 (Jan. — Feb. 1619), No. 13. 

2 Purchas III. 735. 

1 62 2] The Disco Fishery 129 

of many cookeries on the south coast of Edge Island and 
the adjacent islands, but we shall probably never know to 
whom they belonged, or what adventures and tragedies 
happened there. It may be regarded as certain that the 
Hull men systematically frequented that region. A large 
bay in the west side of Edge Island is called Disco Bay, a 
name also associated with the Dutch whaling industry in 
Greenland. What Disco means I have been unable to 
learn 1 . Zorgdrager alone preserved any information about 
this fishery. He says: 

"At this time of the Greenland company 2 there was an 
important fishery below the south ice, east of Spitsbergen 
and in the Disco. It was at that time sometimes pursued 
as far as Novaja Zemlja with very good results ; but then 
there were more whales by Spitsbergen than by Zemlja. 
This I have been told, not only by several old captains and 
harpooners but also by my pilot Tennis Battisz, who was 
with me in the year 1693, then an old man. His father, 
William Ys, had served the (Noordsche) Company as com- 
mander. This man told me with much detail how the Com- 
pany's ships, shortly before and also during his time, used to 
ride at anchor at Disco and below Half-moon Island, and sent 
out their whale-boats provisioned with all things necessary 
for several days to fish east of Spitsbergen, along a great 
iceberg (King John's glacier of our chart), and thus, though 
with much toil with sailing and rowing, towed many fish to 
the ships that lay in the bays. They were afraid at that 
time to go with their ships among the ice, so that the ice- 
fishery was then altogether unknown. If the ice came 
driven along by a north-east wind, they raised anchor and 
tied before it with the ships out to sea. But when some of 
the bravest sailors, remaining behind the rest, let the small 
ice drive by them, the whales came with it to them into the 
bays and many were killed near the ships 3 ." It was thus 
perhaps that they were ultimately led to build stronger 
ships and venture with them into the ice, whereby the 

1 It appears for the first time on Doncker's map of 1663, where it is written 
Dusko. It occupies the position of the older " Duckes Coue" (Duke's Cove). 
Duke was Marmaduke, the Hull whaling skipper, whose habit it was to fish 
somewhere to the eastward. 

2 By this he means the Noordsche Company, 1614-1641. 

3 Zorgdrager, German edn. pp. 172, 173. 

C. CH. XI. o 

130 A terrible Wreck [1622 

whole method of the whale-fishery was revolutionized. 
That change, however, was not made till long after the 
year 1622, with which we are now concerned. 

The season opened calamitously for the English. " One 
of their greatest ships of burthen, whereof John Masson 
was master, having in her 200 tons of Caske, Coppers, and 
divers provisions, was unfortunately cast away against a 
piece of Ice, upon the coast of King James Newland, foure 
leagues from the shoare, in which ship perished 9 and 20 
men, and the remainder being 3 and 20 were by the provi- 
dence of the Almightie miraculously saved in a Shallop, 
coasting 30 leagues afterwards to meet with some other 
ships to find some succour, having neither bread nor 
drincke, nor any meanes whereby to get any food : and so 
remayned 3 dayes in extreme cold weather, being in a small 
Boat ready to bee swallowed up of every wave, but that 
God provided better for them. Many of which people their 
hands and feet rotted off, being frozen, and they died in the 
Countrey. The rest of the ships returned home laden, 
bringing in them 1300 tons of Oil, yet the foresaid cheife 
Harbour (Fairhaven) could not performe their full lading 
there, by reason of the Flemmings and Danes being to the 
Northwards as aforesaid which doth yeerely hinder the 
Companies ships from making a Voyage 1 ." 

The Dutch Company's charter had expired at the end 
of 1620. For the next two seasons they seem to have 
worked under provisional protection, as the Chambers could 
not agree among themselves about the proportion in which 
the year's cargo was to be divided amongst them. But in 
1622 they came to an agreement, and obtained thereupon 
from the States General a new monopoly, to last 1 2 seasons 
till the end of 1634. In this document, which is dated 
22nd Dec. 1622 2 , it is recited that in recent years the Com- 
pany had sent ships to Novaja Zemlja as well as Spits- 
bergen, which confirms the opinion expressed above that 
the eastern fishery had already been exploited by the 

Probably what moved the Dutch to close their ranks 
and unite their forces was the menacing attitude of the 

1 Purchas III. p. 469. 

2 Printed at length in Zorgdrager, German ed. pp. 212-214. 

1 622] More Disputes 131 

English. James I had agreed to a modus vivendi for three 
years, during which time he stipulated that the Dutch must 
make certain restitutions and payments to the Muscovy 
Company. These were never made, and the three years 
were now expired. Accordingly on August 8th, 1622, we 
find the whaling fellowship appealing to the King to extend 
his authority for their assistance 1 . Whereupon the King 
published a declaration 2 that he will be compelled to take 
action unless the States speedily send over a commissioner 
to unite with Sir Noel de Caron in the settlement of the 
affair. He will consider any infringement upon the fishery 
to be a breach of treaty. These bold words, however, were 
easily estimated at their true value by the Dutch. 

The London Company this winter again tried to restrain 
the Hull whalers from going to Spitsbergen, and were so 
far successful as to obtain an order from the Privy Council 
to the Mayor of Hull to prevent the whalers from sailing. 
The Mayor and Corporation replied with a letter, dated 
April 17th, 1623, in which they stated that they had obeyed 
the Council's instructions and had not permitted Thomas 
Anderson, Richard Warner, or any other of the town to 
trade to Spitsbergen, or elsewhere within the privileges of 
the Muscovy Company; "but the whole town and adjacent 
country remonstrate against this restriction of their trade as 
ruinous to them and their families, their ships being pre- 
pared to go this year as usual to those parts, of which they 
profess to be the first discoverers" that is to say, no doubt, to 
Edge Island, Hope Island, and the neighbourhood. 

During the winter of 1622-23 yet another trouble was 
brewing for the Dutch and English whalers. Braem, head 
of the Copenhagen Company, with the King of Denmark's 
sanction, made an agreement with two merchants of St Jean 
de Luz, admitting them as partners. In the following 
season Braem sent up no Danish ships, but the Biscayers 
sent up two as Danish. When these arrived at Smeeren- 
burg they were forbidden to fish by Cornelis Ys 3 , the Dutch 
commander, who explained to them that Mauritius Bay (as 
the Dutch called the north harbour of Fairhaven) belonged 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1619-23, p. 438. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1619-23, p. 485. 

3 This was the fourth year that Ys was in command. 

CH. XI. 9—2 


Dutch and Danes 








to the Dutch and Danes together, but was closed against 
the ships of all other countries. He would not recognise 
them as Danish, and ordered them to go somewhere else. 
The English were equally inhospitable to them. " At our 
first arrival," wrote Fanne from Fairhaven, "there rode two 
Biskie shippes with the Flemings, but within a day or two 
they waied and stood for the Southward. But, inquired of 
the Flemings what port they were bound for, they answered, 
for the North Cape. But Master Mason is persuaded 
they are at Greeneharbour : to which purpose I wrote to 
Mr Catcher (at the Foreland) that he gives order to his 
shallop that goes to Bel-sound, to stand in for the harbour, 
to give the Captaine (Goodlard) true information." The 
shallop in question may be described as the English post- 
boat, which went up and down the coast calling at the 
different harbours from Fairhaven to Horn Sound and back 
once or twice during the season. It was this shallop that 
carried the various letters from which we have quoted. 
This year Fanne started the boat from Fairhaven, June 
24th. Catcher received the mail at the Foreland and sent 
it on, June 29th. The boat looked in at Green Harbour, 
but did not find the "two Biskie ships"; then went to Bell 
Sound, where Goodlard received the mail, July 8th. He 
recapitulated the information received from the north in 
a letter, which he sent on the same day to Heley, doubtless 
at Horn Sound. He thus concludes, " with a heavie heart 
I write you the lamentable accident which happened here 
the 28th of June, our shallops all out in chase and my selfe 
asleepe. My brother (Peter Goodlard) having a shallop 
lying by the ship's side, spide a whale going into the Ice 
Bay (Recherche Bay), followed him and strucke him, and 
his rope being new ranne out with kinckes, which overthrew 
his shallop, where he lost his life with my Boy Bredrake 
being, as we thinke, carried away with the rope (the dearest 
Whale to me that ever was strucke in this harbour. There 
was never anie losse, I thinke, went so neere my heart) 1 . 

Catcher at the Foreland did well, but suffered from ice- 
troubles at the beginning of the season. He had a man 

1 Note, from this letter it appears that the English ships did not lie far 
within Recherche Bay, but near the mouth of it. 


Foundation of Smeerenburg 


"shot accidentally with a Musket." The principal event of 
the season, however, happened at Fairhaven. Nathaniel 
Fanne, June 24th, wrote thence to Heley, as follows 1 : 

" Wee arrived at our harbour with both our 

ships" in safetie upon the third of this present, blessed be 
God, finding the yeare past to have beene a verie hard 
season, in regard of the great quantitie of Snow and Ice 
but yet not very offensive to us in respect of our good 
harbour. Touching our proceeding upon our Voyage, by 
the 8 of this present we had killed 1 3 whales and then were 
all our Shallops constrained in, by reason of foule weather, 
till the 15th dicto, and upon the 15th we killed two more, 
which being all boyled but the heads and then estimated 
will hardly make past 80 Tunnes, which is a very small 
quantitie. The weather continued bad till the 22 dicto, and 
upon the 3 and 20th we killed three more, which by proba- 
bilitie will make neere 40 Tunnes. And thus wee doubt 
not by degrees we shall accomplish our Voyage, by the 
Grace of God." 

"As touching our order for the Flemmings, wee went 
as yesterday aboord them, supposing that wee should have 
found the Danes there, but they are not as yet arrived, but 
wee found there five sailes of Flemmings, the Admirall 
500 Tunnes, the Vice-admiral of the same burthen, the 
other three neere 200 each ship, having also 50 or 60 
persons amongst them, having 4 and 20 Shallops belonging 
to their five Ships, and are building Houses and Tabernacles 
to inhabit, for they make new and substantiall ; also they 
told us, they expected one or two Ships more everie day." 

Of the conference then held between the Dutch com- 
mander and the English representatives, Sherwin and 
Fanne, we have a long official report 3 . Sherwin says that 
there were five Amsterdam and two Delft ships, with 
Cornelis Ys in command of all. Accordingly they went 
to see Ys and told him that the three years during which 
the King of England had agreed to let the Dutch fish in 
Spitsbergen were now passed. Ys " pleaded hereunto 
ignorance, neither would understand further in that poynt 

1 Purchas III. 736. 

2 The Darling (T. Sherwin, Master) and the George (John Mason, Master). 

3 State Papers, Domestic, Addenda, James I, Vol. 43 (1623-25), No. 13. 

CH. XI. 


134 Dutch firmly established [1623 

than hee pleased." They then said they held a commission 
from the King "for the depressing of any Fleminge or 
Interloper which they should meete withall uppon this 
coast," but they hoped the Dutch would go quietly. Ys 
replied that, being a simple fisherman, he knew nothing 
about these matters. He had been sent up by his employers 
and would do what he had been hired to do. Finally the 
English captains said that in any case there were too many 
ships there to be properly accommodated in one harbour, 
and that the fishery thereby would be ruined not only for 
this year but for future seasons. " His answer only was 
that there was fish great store, and hee hoped to satisfie 
all. But I am sure it happened otherwise with us, and 
chiefly occasioned by them, having 30 shallops, for our 7, 
and kil'd 157 whales, which was more by 17 than were 
killed by our whole fleete in all the land." Thus the con- 
ference ended. It was almost the last attempt made by the 
English to assert their rights against the Dutch. The 
Dutch made so successful a voyage this year that they went 
home full-laden and left 60 tons of oil behind. 

It only remains to add that the King of Denmark took 
up the case of the Biscay ships and emphatically reasserted 
his claim of sovereignty. He refused to recognise the 
names Spitsbergen and Mauritius Bay, endeavouring to 
substitute for them Christiansbergen and Christianshaffen. 
This diplomatic engagement lasted ten years, and led to no 
result 1 . Braem's brother seems to have come up in 1625, 
but we are not informed whether he fished. 

1 Muller, pp. 246 et seq. 




In 1623 the Dutch felt themselves firmly planted at the 
north-west corner of Spitsbergen. Their habit now and 
henceforward was to send most of their ships at the begin- 
ning of the season to Jan Mayen, and a few to Mauritius 
Bay, whither others followed later. " The ships," wrote 
Zorgdrager (in 1620), "anchored in Dutch Bay, off the 
flat of Smeerenburg, in a row one beyond another, or 
so near to one another that a shallop could just pass 
between to tow the oil-casks from shore on board. An 
anchor was cast from forward into the bay, and the ship 
was made fast astern with a rope to the shore, either to 
the foundations of the coppers, or to some great stone, 
or to the jawbone of a whale, whereof some are still to 
be seen in various places as high piles set up for the 
purpose on the beach. Laying here, as in a desired and 
safe haven, 3 or 4 leagues inland from the sea, preserved 
and protected from all winds, they pursued their fishery 
with convenience and enjoyment, rowing their shallops 
round and to the ships in the bay, which in those days 
was usually full of fish, as their doings and remains 
sufficiently manifest in various accounts of this fishery, 
otherwise they would not have so solidly settled them- 
selves by their oil-cookeries and laid up their ships so 
comfortably at anchor. Besides, they brought up double 
crews of sixty, seventy, and even eighty men, which were 
apportioned some to the shallops to kill the fish and tow 
them to the oil-cookeries on the shore ; others to remain 
on land and cut the blubber from the fish, chop it up 


136 Smeerenburg 

small, boil down the oil, fill it into casks, and roll them 
down to the water. Others again were on the ships to 
bring the casks alongside, hoist them aloft with a pulley, 

and lade them into the ship At this time there came 

yearly a small fleet of ships from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, 
Hoorn, and other towns, which were arranged in a row 
along the flat of Smeerenburg, each by its own cookery. 
Thus there were Amsterdam, Hoorn, Rotterdam, and 
other oil-cookeries, with their warehouses and cooperies, 
wherein a quantity of Greenland {i.e. whaling) implements 
were stored, casks made, bound and taken away, many 
things kept ready for future use, and stored away, when 
the ships sailed off home." 

Originally there were only two "tents" at Smeeren- 
burg, those of Amsterdam and the Danes. Presently 
other Chambers made good their position alongside of 
Amsterdam, possibly in 1623, the first year in which we 
hear of Delft ships at Mauritius Bay. Muller says 1 that 
after 1623 the Danes came no more to Smeerenburg, and 
that their place was occupied by the Hoorn, Enkhuizen, 
and Flushing men in 1625 and thenceforward. A number 
of "tents" and a big storehouse were erected on the land. 
The Danish Government protested ; but protests, not 
backed by force, had no effect in those days. It is to 
be noticed, however, that Van der Brugge, writing in 
1634, refers to the Danish casks lying at Smeerenburg, 
which implies that the Danes had not then abandoned 
that settlement. It appears from a letter of Christian IV 
to the States General (28th Dec. 1631) that the Dutch 
erected the fort at Smeerenburg against the Danes. 
About 1625 the Danes seem to have taken possession 
of Robbe Bay, which they held thenceforward 1 . In 1626 
there were five big Dutch "tents" at Smeerenburg. By 
1633 all the Chambers had "tents" there, and perhaps 
warehouses too. Amsterdam had two great "tents"; next 
on the west came Middelburg and probably Veere, then 
Flushing, Enkhuizen, Delft, and Hoorn. Rotterdam also 
had a " tent." We find no Zaandam establishment men- 
tioned. At a later date Zaanland was the most important 

1 See the authorities quoted by Muller, N. Co. p. 143. 

Smeerenburg 1 37 

Dutch centre for fitting out whalers, and almost every 
well-to-do Zaanlander had a share in one or more whalers. 
The portrait of Pieter Gijsen, one of the earliest Zaandam 
whaling skippers, painted on glass and dated 1641, is still 
to be seen in the Zaandijk Museum. 

The bi^ "tents" doubtless resembled the second Dutch 
building at Bell Sound, which was 80 feet long by 50 feet 
wide. We know, from the account of the finding of the 
dead winterers in 1535, that the tent of Middelburg had 
a front door and a back door. The front door opened on 
a great room, in which were the men's sleeping-bunks. A 
wall with a door in it opened thence into a smaller room 
behind, called "the buttry" in the old English translations. 
The back door opened on this smaller room, and from it 
went a staircase to the loft or attic. Such seems to have 
been the usual plan of these houses, according to Martens. 
The coopers' worksheds, with an attic for the men to sleep 
in, were separate buildings, and so were the warehouses. 
There were also many smaller huts. Raven and Van der 
Brugge mention capstans planted along the shore for 
hauling up ships. Finally, there were a church 1 and a 
fort armed with cannon; the latter was built on part of 
the land at one time occupied by the Danes. All these 
buildings, with about a score of coppers and their furnaces, 
and to each of them three big cooling-troughs, must have 
pretty well filled the sea front of Smeerenburg \ 

"All these Cookeries and Warehouses," writes Zorg- 
drager (p. 224), "along the flat of Smeerenburg looked 
like half a small town or village, which therefore was not 
inaptly named Blubbertown, after the industry. I have 
not been able to find out exactly how many oil-cookeries 
and warehouses in all there were. At present the founda- 
tions and ruins of 8 or 10 oil-coppers are distinguishable, 
and those of the warehouses. The rest are all fallen 
together with time, so that nothing more is to be found 
of them. Seeing that the ships, as already stated, brought 
up double crews, it was very dull, not only on the ships 

1 Muller, p. 147. 

- The Dutch Company's memoir of 2 Feb. 1634, describes Smeerenburg as 
then consisting of "maisons de pierre, beaucoup de loges ou Cabannes, et pour 
defense un fort, muni d'Artillerie." 


138 English Settlements 

and boats, but also ashore. There came up, therefore, as 
in a camp, some sutlers who sold their wares, such as 
brandy, tobacco, and the like, in their own huts or in the 
warehouses. Bakers went there also to bake bread. In 
the morning, when the hot rolls and white bread were 
drawn from the oven, a horn was blown, so that some 
enjoyment was then to be had at Smeerenburg." 

In its great days, in the ten years following 1633, 
Smeerenburg was a busy and populous place for a couple 
of months each year ; but after it had fallen to ruin and 
disappeared, its supposed magnitude was greatly exagge- 
rated in sailors' yarns. They came to talk of Smeerenburg 
as though it had been a town with fine wooden houses and 
a summer population of from 10,000 to 20,000 persons. 
Its frequenters in a full season may have numbered 1,000 
to 1,200 at the outside. 

The English had no summer quarters at all correspond- 
ing in extent to Dutch Smeerenburg. Every year more 
Dutch ships came up to the fishery, and more accommoda- 
tion was required ; but the Muscovy Company's monopoly 
was on the whole efficiently maintained, so far as the 
western bays of Spitsbergen were concerned, against 
English interlopers. It was the policy of the Muscovy 
Company not to frighten away the whales by killing too 
many. They foresaw that the crowd of Dutch would soon 
destroy the fishery in Mauritius Bay, as in fact it did. 
About 1624 therefore the English forsook Fairhaven and 
Magdalena Bay, which were thereupon, as we shall see, 
annexed by the Dutch. Thenceforward the English held 
all the bays from King's Bay southward. Green Harbour 
(by which is meant the whole of Ice Sound), Bell Sound, 
and Horn Sound were their principal stations, and they 
probably had huts by each of them as well as in Sir Thomas 
Smith's Bay. The last-mentioned station, however, seems 
to have been given up when the whales abandoned the 
north-west corner of Spitsbergen. 

In 1624 five well-appointed English ships coming to 
the fishery met two Zeelanders, and would have driven 
them about, but a Dutch man-of-war arrived in the nick 
of time to protect them. The captain of this ship, Willem 
Tas of Haarlem, made ready to fight, against great odds, 

Uses of Train-oil 139 

said the Dutch; and the English accordingly ''climbed 
down," and appear to have been lectured by Tas. Tas 
on his return home gained great credit for this bloodless 
episode, and for the manner in which he had carried 
himself 1 . When more Dutch ships arrived, making 20 in 
all, the English retired. One of the Dutch ships was 
doubtless the small vessel of 80 tons, under the command 
of Simon Willemsz, with Jacob Jacobsz of Edam as pilot, 
whose instructions were to sail along the north coast to 
Cape Tabin, and try for a north-east passage that way' 2 . 
How far they really went we do not know. In the bold 
fashion of Arctic navigators in those days they said they 
reached 83° N., but as all such claims that we have 
thus far been able to investigate have proved ludicrously 
exaggerated, we may well doubt the accuracy of this one. 
Let it suffice to say that the Seven Islands do not appear 
on Dutch charts before 1663. It is therefore most un- 
likely that this expedition went even thus far. The ship 
was back at Smeerenburg in time to take part in the 
season's whaling 3 . The Dutchmen made a good voyage, 
but they imprudently sent away one of their ships full- 
laden before the rest were ready. She was captured by 
a Dunkerker, and held to ransom for 10,000 guldens. 
The other ships sailed home together "like grim lions," 
all safely outriding a terrible gale, which overtook and 
scattered them 20 miles from land 4 . 

By this time the quantity of train-oil and whalebone 
imported by the different whaling fleets into Europe had 
considerably lowered the price of those commodities. 
Train-oil was used as an illuminant, but chiefly for the 
manufacture of soap. The better kind of soft soap was 
made from it, and employed in fine laundry work. 
Perhaps it was the increased supply of good soap, result- 
ing from the discovery of Spitsbergen, that led to the 
great development in laces and linen which marks the 
costume of the wealthy at this period. The small Tudor 

1 Wassenaer, Hist. verh. VIII. fol. 86. Apropos of this incident, Wassenaer 
gives a brief statement of the grounds of the Dutch claim to a share of the 
Spitsbergen fishery (ff. 86-96). 

2 Wassenaer, Hist. verh. VI 1 1, f. 86. 

3 Wassenaer, Hist. verh. VII. f. 95, IX. f. 123. 

4 Wassenaer, Hist. verh. vm. f. 86. 


140 Uses of Whalebone [1624 

ruff expanded to the dimensions with which 17th century 
Dutch portraits have made us familiar. Probably the laces 
of the Cavaliers were washed with Spitsbergen soap. The 
archives of this period are full of references to soap. In 
1624 Sir J. Bourchier obtained a patent from the King for 
the manufacture of a new kind of soap, for which he not 
only paid money and a royalty, but gave the King as a fine 
"Sir Paul Pindar's great diamond, worth ^35,ooo 1 ." The 
Muscovy Company watched the soap-makers very care- 
fully, and often petitioned about them, for they were 
always ready to smuggle in whale-oil from Holland. 
When Plymouth or Hull oppose the Company it is on the 
ground that their soap-makers cannot get enough whale-oil 
for their trade. 

The uses of whalebone were fewer, so in 1624 the 
price had fallen to two pence per pound 2 , and this in spite 
of the fact that new uses had been found for it. At 
Amsterdam there was an English ivory-turner, John 
Osborne by name, a native of Worcester. In 161 8 he 
invented a method of uniting, apparently by heat and 
pressure, the thin pieces of whalebone together into a 
black mass, which became so supple and soft that it could 
be pressed into any shape in a metal mould or beneath 
an engraved plate of metal, and would take the impression 
of the finest lines. The substance was as black as jet, and 
was used to ornament looking-glass frames, sideboards, 
mantelpieces, knife-handles, and so forth. Fine medallions 
of Prince Maurice and his wife, impressed by John Osborne 
in this material, are not uncommon. Examples may be 
seen in the British Museum. I have two in my own 
possession. On regarding the back of them it will be 
perceived that they are made of whalebone, not horn, as 
usually stated in sale catalogues. For this invention, which 
we are told doubled the price of whalebone, Osborne re- 
ceived a pension for ten years from the States General 3 . 

The Muscovy Company had not yet given up all hope 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1623-25, p. 154. The diamond in 
question was brought by Sir Paul Pindar from Turkey. I cannot find out 
what happened to it in later times. There are some further references to it 
in the State Papers, implying that it was not given but sold to Charles I. 

2 Ditto, p. 342. 

3 Wassenaer, Hist. verk. vin. f. 87 ; Muller, pp. 102, 127. 

1625] A Spanish Spy 141 

of getting from the Dutch the ,£22,000 which King James 
had adjudged they should pay. In June, 1624, and January, 
1625, they petitioned to have this payment exacted and the 
fishery " regulated " ! On this second occasion the Privy 
Council seemed inclined to act ; they even went so far 
as to direct Buckingham, the Lord Admiral, to fit out ships 
sufficient in number and force to seize the Dutch ships 
that intrude upon the fishing in Greenland (Spitsbergen). 
Buckingham issued orders accordingly to Captain Love, 
appending a warrant, from which it appears that the Dutch 
ships were to be attacked, either outward or homeward 
bound, rather than up at Spitsbergen 1 . There was even 
talk of war between England and the States on the burning 
questions of Amboyna and Spitsbergen 2 . All this bluster, 
however, ended in words. There were no ships available 
to attack the whalers, and none seem to have been sent 
out. In fact, James at this time concluded a new alliance 
with the Dutch against Spain, and had no intention of 
seriously quarrelling with his ally about a few casks of 
train-oil. The season of 1625 passed quietly; and, though 
Joachim's suggestion that the English and Dutch claims 
for compensation should be set off against one another 
was not accepted, that in fact happened. 

The Dutch whaling fleet at the time, though perhaps 
it did not know it, was threatened with danger from 
another quarter. Spain kept a spy in London named 
Egidio Ouwers. In April, 1625, he wrote to Cardinal de 
Ceva at Brussels, suggesting that the King of Spain should 
send ships to ravage the Dutch herring fishers in the North 
Sea, and afterwards turn towards Spitsbergen and take the 
whalers. Ouwers said that he was going next day to 
Holland and Zeeland, and would send particulars about 
the ships there about to sail 3 . Whether this proposal was 
seriously considered we know not ; it certainly was not 
carried out. 

It was the misfortune of the London Whaling Company 

1 See Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1623-24, pp. 447, 454, and State 
Papers, Domestic, James I, Vol. 184 (Feb. 1625), No. 50. 

2 Letter of Secretary Conway to Colonel Sir E. Conway, 20 February, 1625. 
See also Twisck's Chronijk, Vol. II., sub an. 

3 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, Add. 1625-49, p. 6. 


142 Loudon and Hull Rivals [1626 

during the whole of its existence to be quarrelling with 
somebody. No sooner did the lapse of time and the logic 
of circumstances terminate its quarrel with the Dutch than 
it came to loggerheads with English and Scotch com- 
petitors. We have seen how in 1623 it prevented the 
Hull whalers from setting forth. Whether it likewise kept 
them at home in 1624, or drove them away from the 
fishery, we do not know. Certain it is that by 1626 the 
rage of the men of Hull against the whalers of London 
was very hot indeed. York and Hull united to send nine 
ships to Spitsbergen in that year, under the command of 
R. Prestwood and R. Perkins. The London fleet consisted 
of" 12 sayle of good shipps." The Hull men were first in 
the field. Instead of avoiding the bays frequented by the 
London ships they sailed straight for Bell Sound, for the 
place then named Whale Head, where were the London 
cookery, tents, and warehouse. This is the first time Whale 
Head is mentioned. It is not marked on any old chart. 
All we can say at present is that it was situated on the 
south side of Bell Sound, near the mouth of Ice Bay, 
which the Dutch called Schoonhoven and we now know as 
Recherche Bay. 

Hither then came the Hull men, and here they landed 
and took away " 8 shallops, burned the caske, broke the 
coolers, and spoyled all the other materialls fitt for the said 
fishing... demolished the houses and broke down the fort 
and Plattforme built the yeare before for defence of the said 
harbor." It is evident that revenge, not robbery, was the 
purpose of this incursion. The Hull men made no attempt 
to occupy the site of the London settlement, but moved 
across Bell Sound to a cove in its north shore, named 
Bottle Cove, and there and on "the Rock in Bell Sound," 
which is doubtless to be identified with Axel Island, they 
pitched their tents and set up their coppers. This remained 
the Hull station for over 25 years 1 . Bottle Cove is the 
small bay just outside Axel Island to which Willem Van 
Muyden retreated in 16 13 when sent away by Captain 
Joseph. On all early Dutch charts it is named Willem 
Van Muyden's Haven. In modern times the name, mis- 

1 Vide Horth's statement of 7 Feb. 1654, cited below 

1627J The Quarrel patched tip 143 

spelled, was transferred to the great sound within Axel 
Island whose original and proper name is Low Sound, 
though the Dutch always called it Klok Bay. In 1898 
the Swedes added to the confused nomenclature of this 
region by giving to Bottle Cove the name of their ship, the 

When Captain William Goodlard arrived at Whale Head 
with four ships and a pinnace we may be sure that he 
was considerably disturbed in his mind. He thereupon 
"adressed himself with one shipp and a Pinace unto Bottle 
Cove, where the said Shipps of Yorke and Hull were at 
anchor, and in friendly manner sending aboard them and 
demanding by what authoritie they had comitted that out- 
rage and requiring satisfaccion of them they refused the 
same and prepared to assault him... as will more particularly 
appear... by a Journal thereof made by the said Capt. 
Goodlad," which journal we unfortunately do not possess 1 . 
In consequence of these apparently high-handed proceed- 
ings, Prestwood and Perkins were summoned before the 
Privy Council at Whitehall on November 15th, " who heard 
the dispute between the two companies and found the 
matter complicated." They accordingly directed the Lord 
Admiral to institute an enquiry in the Court of Admiralty 
for examination of witnesses on oath as to matters of fact, 
and they appointed a Committee to consider and report 
on the whole matter, the two accused being discharged 
upon bond to appear when called for. The Law officers 
of the Crown succeeded in accommodating the dispute by 
the admission of three adventurers of York and three of 
Hull into a "joint stock with the Muscovy Company 2 ." 

Matters, however, did not settle down peaceably, for in 
the following March we find the London Company stating 
that the arrangement imposed upon them is that this year 
(1627) they shall send up 3,000 tons of shipping 3 , whereof 
York and Hull are to have one-fifth. They protest against 
the arrangement. It seems doubtful indeed whether the 

1 Petition to the Privy Council in State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 39 
(Nov. 1626), No. 67. 

- Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1627-28, p. 10. 

3 See list of 11 ships hired for the season with the number of their seamen. 
Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1627-28, p. 126. 


144 The Privy Council defied [1627 

suggested amalgamation took place. The London Com- 
pany also stated that Nathaniel Edwards, Andrew Hawes, 
and the towns of Yarmouth and Lynn were intending to 
interlope. The fact was that Edwards had obtained a 
Scotch Royal License for himself and his partners " to fish 
and trade in Greenland (Spitsbergen) for 2 1 years for the 
provision of Scotland and the soap works of the said 
N. Edwards with oils 1 ." The English Privy Council, 
after re-hearing the case, decided (April 4, 1627) that 
" Edwards and the others, who were going to use English 
ships under their Scotch patent, are to desist and to sell 
their provisions at market rates to the Muscovy Company 2 ." 

Notwithstanding the Privy Council, interlopers went up 
as usual in 1627. Hawes and Batten of Yarmouth, though 
expressly forbidden to set forth the ship and pinnace they 
were openly preparing for the fishery, sent them up and 
added insult to injury by hiring "one Sampson, a Baske," 
who was an old servant and chief harpooner of the London 

In 1627 the voyage was a bad one, and the London 
Company, henceforward generally called the Greenland 
Company, was much discouraged. As always happened 
after a bad season, there was illicit importation of whale-oil 
from abroad for use by English soap-makers. In January, 
1628, accordingly, we meet with a renewal of the prohibi- 
tion of foreign whale-oil and whalebone 3 . Nevertheless, 
two months later oil was successfully smuggled, and the 
soap-makers were again found smuggling in January, 1630 4 . 

In 1628 the Yarmouth interlopers, though forbidden by 
the Privy Council, went again to Spitsbergen. In 1629 
they were ordered to enter into a bond for ,£1,000 not to 
do so again, but they disobeyed and sailed. In 1630 they 
went up once more 5 , "but were impeded, arrested and 
returned empty home," which action " bred a general 
grievance for want of oils, and consequently of soap." 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 32, No. 52. The license was 
granted at Holyrood House, 28 July, 1626. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1627-28, pp. 113, 125. 

3 British Museum MS. Add. 4155, and State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, 
Vol. 91 (Jan. 1628), No. 53. 

4 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1 629-3 1 1 P- 1 °9- 

6 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, Add. 1645-49, p. 394. 

1 63 1] by Yarmouth and Hull 145 

This led to a protest from Lord Dupplin, Lord Chancellor 
of Scotland, addressed to Secretary Dorchester. He points 
out that the so-called interlopers were " patentees for the 
Greenland trade of Scotland, and that this kind of treat- 
ment is likely to breed trouble between the two countries 1 ." 
The prohibition, however, was renewed, and in May, 1631, 
the Bailiffs of Yarmouth sent up Hoarth's bond not to sail 
"into any parts within the privileges" of the London Com- 
pany. Hawes, Batten, Hoarth, and Wright were all really 
working for the Scotch soap-maker Edwards. We shall see 
that the Hull ships went up in 163 1 as usual, and so did 
those of Wright and Hoarth. 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 185 (Feb. 1631), Nos. 28, 29. 




The event in Spitsbergen for which 1630 was chiefly 
memorable happened to the Londoners. The following 
account is quoted or condensed from the relation published 
by one of the English whalers, Edward Pellham 1 . 

"Wee set sayle from London the first day of May, 
1630, and having a faire gale, we quickly left the fertile 
banks of England's pleasant shoares behind us. After 
which, setting our comely sayles to this supposed prosperous 
gale, and ranging through the boysterous billowes of the 
rugged Seas, by the helpe and gracious assistance of 
Almighty God, wee safely arrived at our desired Port 
(Sir Thomas Smith Bay) in Greenland (Spitsbergen), the 
eleventh of June following. Whereupon, having moored 
our ships and carryed our caske ashoare, wee, with all 
expedition, fell to the fitting up of our Shallops, with all 
thinges necessarie for our intended voyage. Wee were in 
companie three Ships 2 ; all which were then appointed by 
the order of our Captaine, Captaine William Goodler 
(Goodlard), to stay at the Foreland, until the fifteenth of 
July ; with resolution, that if we could not by that time 
make a voyage according to our expectation, then to send 
one ship to the Eastward, unto a fishing place (Edge 
Island) some fourscore leagues from thence ; whither, at 

1 Gods Power and Providence shewed in the Miraculous Preservation and 
Deliverance of eight Englishmen, left by mischance in Green-land (Spitsbergen), 

Anno 1630, nine moneths and twelve dayes Faithfully reported by Edward 

Pellham one of the eight men aforesaid. London, 1631, 8vo. A reprint, edited 
by Adam White, was published by the Hakluyt Society in 1855. 

2 i.e. three ships at the Foreland. There were others at Bell and Horn 
Sounds. Goodlard was at Bell Sound. 

A successful Season in 1630 147 

the latter end of the yeare, the Whales use more frequently 
to resort.'" 

This reference to the Edge Island fishery is important. 
It shows that it was frequented by the London ships, as 
well as bv the Dutch and the men of Hull, and that it was 
mainly resorted to at the end of the season. The whales, 
as we have seen, moved from west to east as the season 
advanced. Zorgdrager says that they reached the south 
of Edge Island both by way of Hinlopen Strait and round 
the South Cape. The Disco Fishery was evidently in full 
swing by 1630. 

" A second of the three ships was designed for Green- 
harbour {i.e. for Ice Sound), a place some fifteen leagues 
distant to the southward, there to trie her skill and fortune, 
if it were possible there to make a voyage 1 . The third 
ship, which was the same wherein wee were 2 , was appointed 
to stay at the Foreland untill the twentieth of August. 
But the captaine, having made a great voyage at Bell 
Sownd, dispatches a Shallop towards our ship, with a 
command unto us to come to him at Bell Sownd aforesaid ; 
his purpose being, both to have us take in some of his 
Trane-Oyle, as also, by joyning our forces together, to 
make the fleete so much the stronger for the defence of the 
merchants goods homeward bound, the Dunkirkers being 
very strong and rife at sea in those dayes. Upon the 
eighth day of August (thereupon), leaving the Foreland, 
wee directed oure course to the Southward, towards Green- 
harbour, there to take in twenty of our men, which had out 
of our ships company beene sent into the lesser ship for the 
furtherance of her voyage. But the winde being now 
contrary, our ship could no way lye our course. The 
fifteenth day, being calme and cleare and our ship now in 
the Offing, some foure leagues from Blacke-point and about 
five from the Maydens Pappes 3 (which is a place famous, 
both for very good and for great store of venison), our 

1 It is curious how relatively bad a whaling bay Ice Sound seems always to 
have been. 

2 She was the Salutation, Captain Mason. Mr Gray was one of the ship's 
company. In 1663 he wrote an account of the whale-fishery for the Royal 
Society. Register Book of the R. S. Vol. II. (1662-3), PP- 156, 308, reprinted in 
the Geographical Journal (June, 1900), pp. 631-636, with sketches reproduced. 

3 Both places are on the Foreland. 

CH. XIII. 10—2 

148 The First Wintering [Aug. 

Master sent us eight men here named 1 , altogether in a 
shallop, for the hunting and killing of some Venison for 
the ship's provision. Wee thus leaving the ship, and 
having taken a brace of dogs along with us, and furnisht 
ourselves with a snap-hance, two lances, and a tinder-boxe, 
wee directed our course towards the shoare where in foure 
houres wee arrived, the weather being at that time faire 
and cleare, and every way seasonable for the performance 
of our present intentions 2 ." 

That day they "laid fourteene tall and nimble Deere 
along," and then rested for the night, intending to continue 
their hunt next day and return to the ship. But next day 
fog and ice forced the ship to stand off to sea, and they lost 
sight of her, so they hunted southward along the shore, 
killing eight more reindeer, and so on the 17th reached 
Green Harbour, only, however, to find that the ship had 
been there before them, taken away the twenty men, and 

Three days later was the date appointed for the home- 
ward sailing of the ship from Bell Sound, sixteen leagues 
further south. Accordingly they threw their venison 
overboard to lighten their boat and proceeded southwards, 
with but a vague knowledge of where Bell Sound was and 
what its entrance looked like. Fog came upon them and 
they "were faine to grabble in the darke " for their way. 
They thus overshot the mark and went on southwards ten 
leagues at least too far. Suspecting their blunder they 
returned northwards again to within two miles (as after- 
wards appeared) of the mouth of Bell Sound, but were then 
persuaded to go south again by one of their number, who 
thought he knew the locality. Back accordingly they went 
as far as before only to find themselves in the wrong. So 
they again turned round and this time found Bell Point, at 
the mouth of Bell Sound, on the 21st of August. 

Owing to a strong wind from the E.N.E. they could 
not row against it into Bell Sound, but were compelled to 

1 William Fakeley, gunner ; Edward Pellham, gunner's mate, the author 
of this relation ; John Wise and Robert Goodfellow, seamen ; Thomas Ayers, 
whale-cutter ; Henry Belt, cooper ; John Dawes and Richard Kellett, landmen. 

2 Zorgdrager, German ed., p. n, states that some English ships, com- 
manded by Captain Goodlers, had to sail round Spitsbergen this year. This is 
a mistake. Spitsbergen was not circumnavigated till much later. 

1630] The Bell Sound Tents 149 

" cove " some two miles within Bell Point. " We forthwith," 
continues Pellham, " sought out and found an harbour for 
our Shallop ; and having brought her thereunto, two of our 
men were presently dispatched over land unto the Tent at 
Bell Sownd, to see if the ships were still there, of which, by 
reason of the times being expired and the opportunitie of 
the present faire winde, we were much afraid. The Tent 
being distant ten miles at the least from our Shallop, our 
men at their coming thither finding the ships to be departed 
out of the Roade, and not being certaine whether or not 
they might be at Bottle Cove (three leagues distant on the 
other side of the Sownd) riding there under the Loome of 
the land ; again return unto us with this sadde newes." 

I quote this whole passage because it gives the most 
accurate account I have found of the position of the English 
tent. Unfortunately the promontory named Bell Point is 
almost circular and has no point that can be definitely 
assigned as a cape. The best we can do is to assume that, 
coming round the curve of the coast from the southward, 
they stopped when met by the full strength of the E.N.E. 
wind. That would be about 2 miles west of the point now 
known as Cape Lyall. The tent therefore ought to be 
sought for eight miles by land round the coast in the other 
direction. This would bring us to the very bottom of Ice 
Bay, the modern Recherche Bay, a very unlikely position 
for a whaling station. Other references to the place, 
already noticed above, suggest that the English tents 
were near the mouth of Ice Bay, and that is where traces 
of the buildings should be sought. 

"The storme of winde hitherto continuing, about 
midnight fell starke calme, whereupon we, unwilling to 
lose our first opportunity, departed towards Bottle Cove, 
betwixt hope and feare of finding the ships there ; whither 
comming the two-and-twentieth and finding the ships 
departed, we, having neither Pilot, Plat, nor Compasse for 
our directors to the Eastward (i.e. to Edge Island) found 
ourselves (God he knoweth) to have little hope of any 
delivery out of that apparent danger. Our feares increased 
upon us, even whilst we consulted whether it were safest 
for us either to goe or stay. If goe, then thought wee 
upon the dangers in sayling, by reason of the much yce in 


if: The First I fin tiring ug. 

the w:. also of the difficultie in finding the place when 

wee should come thereabouts. If we resolved still to 
remaine at Bell Sownd. then wee thought that no other 
thing- could be looked for bu: i ~iserable and a pining 
death, seeing there appeared no possibility of inhabiting 
there, or to endure so long, and so bitter a winter." 

s r ht of the experienced men who had refused 
_ .. : .:-. :t~i::r.i' irftrs :: :':.- '..-:: J ~-:i:.y:: r.:-: 
in Spitsbergen. They thought of the condemned criminals 
who had preferred hanging at home to freezing here. 
'The remembrance of these two former stories as also of 
a third (more terrible than the former, for that it was likely 
to be our own case more miserably now affrighted us 
and that as the lamentable and unmanly ends of nine 
good and able men. left in the same place heretofore by 
the sehe same Master that now left us behinde : who all 
dyed miserably upon the place, being cruelly disfigured 
after their deaths by the savage beares and hungry foxes 
winch are not only the civilest, but also the onely inhabitants 
:~i.: :;~:"; n'-sse Countrey : the lamentable ends and 
miscarriage of which men. had beene enough indeed to 


hare daunted the spirits of the most noble resolution.... 
Thus, lik- men already metamorphosed into the yce of the 
Country, and already past both our sense and reason, stood 
wee with th^ e] -;- fpittie beholding one another. 

iter a period of despair, "shaking off all childish and 
effeminate fears it pleased God to give us hearts like men 1 ." 
They thereupon decided to go back to Green Harbour 
with their two mastiffs and kill reindeer for their win: 
'. ' - :r. Jr. A_r-'.: - "~ ~-'--\ -'--. - : -.''- a v. ay " :::. ■ -, :\:r 
wind and reached Green Harbour in twelve hours. They 
made a tent of a sail and slept and the next day the] 
went to a place called Coles Parke% about two leagv 
oft where they killed seven reindeer and four bears. 
Tr turned to their tent for the night and next day 

rowed again towards Coles Parke and killed tv more 

'-Aain Astderson relates that when these men realized that they must 
bte, other times to scold and fight : bat at last with mutual persuasions to pro- 

- erafly misspelt Coal Bay, in the south side of 

1630] The Party abandoned 151 

reindeer. They loaded their boat with venison and tilled 
another boat they found there "with the Graves of the 
Whales that had beene there boyled this present — jd 
so divided into two parties they set out to return to the hut 

:r. DtV. Scur.i. Xur-ht crtvtr.rt: r su=r 

next day. being Sunday, they would not m ove. But on 
Mondav morning " the day was no sooner peept but up we 
^;:. renin;; curs ::: :ur z-zzzz~z-z± .: 

:: :'< :i.r~ :"•••": i;u. 5 ;:" ;:: -z. z-z z: :-::. z ::: .- - : ' - 
where they were forced to stay, landing and making then- 
boats fast to an anchor, in zz.t rz^-Z :"t s :_:_.-" 7-: 
blew a gale right into the cove and ?'~^Ll:cs 

casting alongrs: the shoare. sunke presently in the sea, 
welting by this means our whole provis; earf 

withall beating: some of it out of die Boates, which wee 
:~c_r.u sv..~~ir_; _. zz.z z: z- :z- szzzzt For. coming 
out of our tent the meane time, judge you whu: z agfaf 
:..:s • .? ur.:; us :: srr :v "iscnunc-r ::.: :es: zzzz :: cur 
s : _ r. ::.-. 'zzz<z ::' cur .- :: -•_ :r --"■ 

:: "re ics: :r u: ieus: s: itu :z :r- — - z.zz 

- ~z:'z -■-•■- tzzzziktz. szz'zz z-iizts zzzz run such uri enrurrs 
.z z'z.-: -::u 

Being at the Hull settlement they were not without 
:~;;'r~7-:> There appear to h: een rapes about as 

-•■■eii ■-- . :a cs:ur '.z -v — r eri zzzz ::.: 

:r :: at this place as ::u iid at irfeen Harbour. 

This ccncirms : - s:u:e~en: : r :.: :hr Huli u\c 

^ : - cs: fr "A Hslser 

:z -.--:.. .:z "- re: - • fuscer :; cocr. cur shu : - c-c- 
'■'■'.z'z. .. J :■: ;: Jursuinu: r.2 r fcrcr c: nun. . . cu 

them out of toe water upon the shoarr 7 s :::.: uli 

S.U- r CC-r Srri- U, ICrCr U C UUs \, 

sucr. ;: cur rrrvisicrs us r:_ s- uiucrc.z c ;. frcrr cur 
:_ huli; - 

On September 3rd they were back in Bell Sound. 
" Our first businesse was to take our provision out of our 
S aDops into the Tent : our next, to take a particular 
-"- :c: u.ur unci c: : '.-.-- ;ren: :t~: — ; c. us c -. :; :h- 
place of our habitation for the ensuing YV 
which we call the Tent, was a kinde of hous 
built of Timber and Boardes substantially anc 

152 TJie First Wintering , [Sept. 

with Flemish Tyles, by the men of which nation it had, in 
the time of their trading thither, been builded 1 . Fourscore 
foot long it is, and in breadth fiftie. The use of it was for 
the Coopers, employed for the service of the Company, to 
worke, lodge, and live in, all the while they make caske 
for the putting up of the Trane Oyle." 

They had intended to go back to Green Harbour for 
more reindeer, but the bad weather and cold prevented 
them. " Things being at this passe with us, we bethought 
ourselves of building another smaller Tent with all ex- 
pedition ; the place must of necessity be within the greater 
Tent. With our best wits, therefore, taking a view of the 
place, we resolved upon the South side. Taking downe 
another lesser Tent therefore (built for the Land-men hard 
by the other, wherein in time of yeare they lay whilest 
they made their Oyle) from thence we fetcht our materials. 
That Tent furnisht us with one hundred and fifty deale- 
boards, besides Posts or Stancheons and Rafters. From 
three Chimneys of the Furnaces wherein they used to 
boyle their Oyles, wee brought a thousand Bricks : there 
also found wee three Hogsheads of very fine Lyme, of 
which stuffe wee also fetcht another Hogshead from Bottle 
Cove, on the other side of the Sownd, some three leagues 
distant. Mingling this Lyme with the Sand of the Sea 
shore, we made very excellent good morter for the laying 
of our Bricks : falling to worke whereupon the weather was 
so extreame cold, as that we were faine to make two fires 
to keepe our morter from freezing. William Fakely and 
my selfe, undertaking the Masonrie, began to raise a wall 
of one bricke thicknesse, against the inner planks of the 
side of the Tent. Whilst we were laying of these Bricks, 
the rest of our Companie were otherwise employed every 
one of them : some in taking them downe, others in making 
of them cleane, and in bringing them in baskets into the 
Tent. Some in making morter, and hewing of boards to 
build the other side withall, and two others all the while 
in flaying of our Venison. And thus, having built the two 
outermost sides of the Tent with Bricks and Morter, and 
our Bricks now almost spent, wee were enforc'd to build 

1 See above, p. 108. 

1630] Preparations made 153 

the other two sides with Boards ; and that in this manner. 
First, we nayl'd our Deale boards on one side of the Post 
or Stancheon, to the thicknesse of one foot : and on the 
other side in like manner : and so filling up the hollow 
place betweene with sand, it became so light and warme, 
as not the least breath of ayre could possibly annoy us. 
Our Chimneys vent was into the greater Tent, being the 
breadth of one deale board and foure foot long. The 
length of this our Tent was twenty foot, and the breadth 
sixteene ; the heighth tenne ; our seeling being Deale 
boards five or sixe times double, the middle of one joyning 
so close to the shut of the other, that no winde could 
possibly get betweene 1 . As for our doore, besides our 
making it so close as possibly it could shut ; we lined it 
moreover with a bed that we found lying there, which 
came over both the opening and the shutting of it. As for 
windowes, we made none at all, so that our light wee 
brought in through the greater Tent, by removing two or 
three tyles in the eaves, which light came to us through 
the vent of our Chimney. Our next worke was, to set up 
foure Cabbins, billeting our selves two and two in a 
Cabbine. Our beds were the Deeres skinnes dryed, which 
we found to be extraordinary warme, and a very comfortable 
kinde of lodging to us in our distresse. Our next care then 
was for firing to dresse our meate withall, and for keeping 
away the cold. Examining, therefore, all the Shallops that 
had beene left a-shoare there by the Ships, we found seven 
of them very crazie, and not serviceable for the next yeare. 
Those wee made bold withall, brake them vp and carried 
them into our house, stowing them over the beames in 
manner of a floore intending also to stow the rest of our 
firing over them, so to make the outer Tent the warmer, 
and to keepe withall the snow from dryving through the 
tyles into the Tent, which snow would otherwise have 
covered every thing, and have hindered us in comming at 
what wee wanted. When the weather was now grown 
colde, and the dayes short (or rather no dayes at all) wee 
made bold to stave some emptie Caske that were there left 
the yeare before, to the quantitie of a hundred tunne at 

1 Anderson says that their room was half under ground and half above. 


154 The First Wintering [Sept. 

least. We also made use of some planks and of two old 
Coolers (wherein they cool'd their Oyle) and of whatsoever 
might well be spared, without damnifying of the voyage the 
next yeare. Thus, having gotten together all the firing 
that wee could possibly make, except we would make 
spoyle of the Shallops and Coolers that were there, which 
might easily have overthrowne the next yeares voyage, to 
the great hindrance of the Worshipfull Companie, whose 
servants wee being, were every way carefull of their profite. 
Comparing, therefore, the small quantitie of our wood, 
together with the coldnesse of the weather, and the length 
of time that there wee were likely to abide, we cast about 
to husband our stocke as thriftily as wee could, devising to 
trie a new conclusion. Our tryall was this : When wee 
rak't up our fire at night, with a good quantitie of ashes 
and of embers, wee put into the midd'st of it a piece of 
Elmen wood — where, after it had laine sixteene houres, 
we at our opening of it found great store of fire upon it, 
whereupon wee made a common practice of it ever after. 
It never went out in eight months or thereabouts. 

" Having thus provided both our houses and firing ; upon 
the twelfth of September, a small quantity of drift yce came 
driving to and fro in the Sownd. Early in the morning 
therefore wee arose, and looking every where abroad, we at 
last espyed two Sea-horses lying a-sleepe upon a piece of 
yce : presently thereupon, taking up an old Harping Iron 
that there lay in the Tent and fastening a Grapnell Roape 
unto it, out launch't wee our Boate to row towards them. 
Comming something neere them, wee perceived them to be 
fast a-sleepe : which my selfe, then steering the Boate, first 
perceiving, spake to the rowers to hold still their Oares, for 
feare of awaking them with the crashing of the yce ; and I, 
skulling the Boate easily along, came so neere at length 
unto them, that the Shallops even touch'd one of them. 
At which instant, William Fakely being ready with his 
Harping Iron, heav'd it so strongly into the old one, that 
hee quite disturbed her of her rest : after which, shee 
receiving five or sixe thrusts with our lances, fell into a 
sounder sleepe of death. Thus having despach't the old 
one, the younger being loath to leave her damme, continued 
swimming so long about our Boate, that with our lances we 

1630] The Metis Occupations 155 

kill'd her also. Haling them both after this into the Boate, 
we rowed a-shoare, flayed our Sea-horses, cut them in 
pieces to roast and eate them. The nineteenth of the 
same moneth we saw other Sea-horses, sleeping also in like 
manner upon severall pieces of yce ; but the weather being 
cold, they desired not to sleepe so much as before, and 
therefore could wee kill but one of them, of which one 
being right glad, we returned again into our Tent. 

" The nights at this time, and the cold weather increased 
so fast upon us, that wee were out of all hopes of getting 
any more foode before the next Spring ; our onely hopes 
were to kill a Beare now and then, that might by chance 
wander that way. The next day, therefore, taking an 
exacter survey of all our victuals, and finding our pro- 
portion too small by halfe, for our time and companie, we 
agreed among our selves to come to an Allowance, that is, 
to stint our selves to one reasonable meale a day, and to 
keepe Wednesdayes and Fridayes Fasting dayes, excepting 
from the Frittars or Graves of the Whale (a very loathsome 
meate) of which we allowed our selves sufficient to suffice 
our present hunger, and at this dyet we continued some 
three moneths or thereabouts. 

" Having by this time finished what ever we possibly 
could invent for our preservations in that desolate desert ; 
our clothes and shooes also were so worne and torne (all to 
pieces almost) that wee must of necessity invent some new 
device for their reparations. Of Roape-yarne therefore, we 
made us thread, and of Whale-bones needles to sew our 
clothes withall. The nights were wax't very long, and by 
the tenth of October the cold so violent, that the Sea was 
frozen over, which had beene enough to have daunted the 
most assured resolutions. At which time, our businesse 
being over, and nothing now to exercise our mindes upon, 
our heads began then to be troubled with a thousand sorts 
ol imaginations. Then had wee leisure (more than enough) 
to complaine our selves of our present and most miserable 
conditions. Then had wee time to bewaile our wives and 
children at home, and to imagine what newes our unfortu- 
nate miscarriages must needes be unto them. Then thought 
wee of our parents also, and what a cutting Corasive it 
would be to them, to heare of the untimely deaths of their 


156 The First Wintering [Oct. 

children. Otherwhiles againe, wee revive ourselves with 
some comfort, that our friends might take, in hoping that it 
might please God to preserve us (even in this poore estate) 
untill the next yeare. Sometimes did we varie our griefes, 
complaining one while of the cruelty of our Master, that 
would offer to leave us to these distresses ; and then 
presently againe fell wee, not onely to excuse him, but to 
lament both him and his companie, fearing they had beene 
overtaken by the yce and miserably that way perished. 

" Thus tormented in mind with our doubts, our feares, 
and our griefes, and in our bodies, with hunger, cold and 
wants, that hideous monster of desperation began now to 
present his ugliest shape unto us ; hee now pursued us, hee 
now laboured to seize upon us. Thus, finding our selves in 
a Labyrinth, as it were, of a perpetuall miserie, wee thought 
it not best to give too much way unto our griefes ; fearing 
they also would most of all have wrought upon our weake- 
nesse. Our prayers we now redoubled unto the Almighty, 
for strength and patience in these our miseries and the 
Lord graciously listned unto us, and granted these our 
petitions. By his assistance therefore, wee shooke off these 
thoughts and cheer'd up our selves againe, to use the best 
meanes for our preservations. 

"Now, therefore, began we to thinke upon our Venison 
and the preserving of that, and how to order our firing in 
this cold weather. For feare, therefore, our firing should faile 
us at the end of the yeare, wee thought best to roast every 
day halfe a Deere and to stow it in hogsheads. Which 
wee, putting now in practice, wee forthwith filled three 
Hogsheads and an halfe, leaving so much raw as would 
serve to roast every Sabbath day a quarter, and so for 
Christmas day and the like. 

" This conclusion being made amongst us, then fell wee 
againe to bethinke us of our miseries, both passed and to 
come : and how (though if it pleased God to give us life) 
yet should we live as banished men, not onely from our 
friends but from all other companie. Then thought we of 
the pinching cold and of the pining hunger ; these were our 
thoughts, this our discourse to passe away the time withall. 
But as if all this miserie had beene too little, we presently 
found another increase of it : For, examining our provisions 

1630] The Long Night 157 

once more, we found that all our Frittars of the Whale were 
almost spoyled with the wet that they had taken, after 
which, by lying so close together, they were now growne 
mouldie ; And our Beare and Venison we perceived againe, 
not to amount to such a quantity as to allow us five meales 
a weeke — whereupon, we were faine to shorten our stomachs 
of one meale more — so, that for the space of three moneths 
after that, we for foure dayes in the weeke fed upon the 
unsavory and mouldie Frittars, and the other three, we 
feasted it with Beare and Venison. But, as if it were not 
enough for us to want meate, we now began to want light 
also : all our meales proved suppers now, for little light 
could we see ; even the glorious Sunne (as if unwilling to 
behold our miseries) masking his lovely face from us, under 
the sable vaile of cole-blacke night. Thus, from the four- 
teenth of October till the third of February, we never saw 
the Sunne ; nor did hee, all that time, ever so much as 
peepe above the Horizon. But the Moone we saw at all 
times, day and night (when the clouds obscured her not) 
shining as bright as shee doth in England. The skie, 'tis 
true, is very much troubled with thicke and blacke weather 
all the Winter time, so that then we could not see the 
Moone, nor could discerne what point of the Compasse 
shee bore upon us. A kinde of daylight wee had indeed, 
which glimmer'd some eight houres a day unto us, in 
October time I meane ; for from thence, unto the first of 
December, even that light was shortened tenn or twelve 
minutes a day constantly, so that, from the 1st of 
December... till the twentieth, there appeared no light at 
all, but all was one continued night. All that wee could 
perceive was, that in a cleare season now and then, there 
appeared a little glare of white, like some show of day 
towards the South, but no light at all. And this continued 
till the first of January, by which time wee might perceive 
the day a little to increase. All this darksome time, no 
certainety could wee have when it should be day or when 
night : onely my selfe out of mine owne little judgement, 
kept the observation of it thus. First, bearing in minde 
the number of the Epact, I made my addition by a day 
supposed (though not absolutely to be known, by reason of 
the darkness) by which I judged of the age of the Moone ; 


158 The First Wintering [Jan. 

and this gave me my rule of the passing of the time ; so 
that, at the comming of the Ships into the Port, I told them 
the very day of the moneth, as directly as they themselves 
could tell mee. 

" At the beginning of this darksome, irkesome time, wee 
sought some meanes of preserving light amongst us ; finding 
therefore a piece of Sheete-lead over a seame of one of the 
Coolers ; that we ript off and made three Lamps of it, 
which maintaining with Oyle that wee found in the Coopers' 
Tent, and Roape-yarne serving us in steed of Candle- 
weekes, wee kept them continually burning. And this was 
a great comfort to us in our extremity. Thus did we our 
best to preserve our selves ; but all this could not secure us, 
for wee, in our owne thoughts, accounted our selves but 
dead men ; and that our Tent was then our darksome 
dungeon, and that we did but waite our day of tryall by 
our judge, to know whether wee should live or dye. Our 
extremities being so many, made us sometimes in impatient 
speeches to breake forth against the causers of our miseries ; 
but then againe, our consciences telling us of our owne evill 
deservings, we tooke it either for a punishment upon us for 
our former wicked lives ; or else for an example of God's 
mercie in our wonderfull deliverance. Humbling our selves 
therefore, under the mighty hand of God, wee cast downe 
our selves before him in prayer, two or three times a day, 
which course we constantly held all the time of our misery. 

"The new yeare now begun: as the dayes began to 
lengthen, so the cold began to strengthen ; which cold 
came at last to that extremitie, as that it would raise 
blisters in our flesh, as if wee had beene burnt with fire : 
and if wee touch't iron at any time, it would sticke to our 
fingers like Bird-lime. Sometimes, if we went but out a 
doores to fetch in a little water, the cold would nip us in 
such sort, that it made us as sore as if wee had beene 
beaten in some cruell manner. All the first part of the 
Winter we found water under the yce, that lay upon the 
Bache on the Sea-shore. Which water issued out of an 
high Bay or Cliffe of yce, and ranne into the hollow of the 
Bache, there remaining with a thicke yce over it, which 
yce, wee at one certaine place daily digging through with 
pick-axes, tooke so much water as served for our drinking. 

1 631] Successful Hunting 159 

" This continued with us untill the tenth of Januarie, and 
then were wee faine to make shift with snow-water, which 
we melted by putting hot Irons into it. And this was our 
drinke untill the twentieth of May following. 

" By the last of Januarie were the dayes growne to some 
seven or eight houres long, and then we again tooke another 
view of our victuals, which we now found to grow so short 
that it could no wayes last us above sixe weekes longer. 
And this bred a further feare of famine amongst us. But 
our recourse was in this, as in other our extremities, unto 
Almighty God, who had helps, wee knew, though we saw 
no hopes. And thus spent wee our time untill the third of 
Februarie. This proved a marvellous cold day ; yet a faire 
and cleare one ; about the middle where of all cloudes now 
quite dispersed, and nights sable curtaine drawne ; Aurora, 
with her golden face, smiled once againe upon us, at her 
rising out of her bed ; for now the glorious Sunne, with his 
glittering beames, began to guild the highest tops of the 
loftie mountaines. The brightnesse of the Sunne, and the 
whitenesse of the snow, both together was such, as that it 
was able to have revived even a dying spirit. But to make 
a new addition to our new joy, we might perceive two 
Beares (a shee one with her Cubbe) now comming towards 
our Tent ; whereupon wee straight arming our selves with 
our lances, issued out of the Tent to await her comming. 
Shee soone cast her greedy eyes upon us, and with full 
hopes of devouring us shee made the more haste unto us ; 
but with our hearty lances we gave her such a welcome as 
that shee fell downe, and biting the very snow for anger. 
Her Cubbe seeing this, by flight escaped us. The weather 
now was so cold, that longer wee were not able to stay 
abroad ; retiring therefore into our Tent, wee first warmed 
our selves, and then went out againe to draw the dead 
Beare in unto us. Wee flaied her, cut her into pieces of a 
stone weight or thereabouts, which served us for our 
dinners. And upon this Beare we fed some twenty dayes, 
for shee was very good flesh and better than our Venison. 
This onely mischance wee had with her, that upon the 
eating of her Liver our very skinnes peeled off; for mine 
owne part, I being sicke before, by eating of that Liver, 
though I lost my skinne, yet recover'd I my health upon it. 


160 The First Wintering [March 

Shee being spent, either wee must seeke some other meate, 
or else fall aboard with our roast Venison in the Caske ; 
which we were very loath to doe for feare of famishing, if 
so be that it should be thus spent before the Fleete came 
out of England. Amidst these our feares, it pleased God 
to send divers Beares unto our Tent, some fortie at least as 
we accounted. Of which number we kill'd seven : That is 
to say, the second of March one ; the fourth, another ; and 
the tenth a wonderfull great Beare, sixe foote high at least. 
All which we flayed and roasted upon woodden spits 
(having no better kitchen-furniture than that, and a frying- 
pan we found in the Tent). They were as good savory 
meate as any beefe could be. Having thus gotten good 
store of such foode, wee kepte not our selves now to such 
straight allowance as before ; but eate frequently two or 
three meales a-day, which began to increase strength and 
abilitie of body in us. 

" By this, the cheerfull dayes so fast increased, that the 
several sorts of Fowles, which had all the Winter-time 
avoyded those quarters, began now againe to resort thither, 
unto their Summer-abiding. The sixteenth of March, one 
of our two Mastive Dogges went out of the Tent from us 
in the morning ; but from that day to this he never more 
returned to us, nor could wee ever heare what was become 
of him. The Fowles that I before spake of, constantly use 
every Spring time to resort unto that Coast, being used to 
breede there most abundantly. Their foode is a certaine 
kinde of small fishes. Yearely upon the abundant comming 
of these Fowles, the Foxes, which had all this Winter kept 
their Burrows under the Rockes, began now to come 
abroad and seeke for their livings. For them wee set 
up three Trappes like Rat-trappes, and bayted them with 
the skinnes of these Fowles, which wee had found upon the 
snow, they falling there in their flight from the hill where- 
upon they bred towards the Sea. For this Fowle, being 
about the bignesse of a Ducke, hath her legs placed so 
close unto her rumpe, as that when they alight once upon 
the land, they are very hardly (if ever) able to get up 
againe, by reason of the misplacing of their legs and the 
weight of their bodies ; but being in the water, they raise 
themselves with their pinions well enough. After wee had 

1 63 1] The Spring 161 

made these Trappes, and set them apart one from another 
in the snow, we caught fiftie Foxes in them ; all which wee 
roasted, and found very good meate of them. Then tooke 
wee a Beare skinne, and laying the flesh side upward wee 
made Springes of Whales bone, wherewith wee caught about 
sixty of those Fowles, about the bignesse of a pigeon. 

" Thus continued wee untill the first of May, and the 
weather then growing warme, wee were now pretty able 
to goe abroad to seeke for more provision. Every day 
therefore abroad wee went, but nothing could we encounter 
withall untill the 24 of May, when espying a Bucke, wee 
thought to have kill'd him with our Dogge, but he was 
grown so fat and lazie that he could not pull downe the 
Deere. Seeking further out therefore, wee found abundance 
of Willocks egges (which is a Fowle about the bignesse of a 
Ducke), of which egges, though there were great store, yet 
wee being but two of us togethor, brought but thirty of them 
to the Tent that day, thinking the next day to fetch a thou- 
sand more of them ; but the day proved so cold, with so much 
Easterly winde, that wee could not stirre out of our Tent. 

''Staying at home therefore on the 25 of May, we for 
that day omitted our ordinary custome. Our order of late 
(since the faire weather) was, every day, or every second 
day, to goe up to the top of a mountaine, to spie if wee 
could discerne the water in the Sea ; which, untill the day 
before, we had not seene. At which time, a storme of 
winde comming out of the Sea, brake the maine yce within 
the Sownd ; after which, the winde comming Easterly, 
carried all the yce into the Sea and cleared the Sownd a 
great way, although not neare the shoare at first, seeing the 
cleare water came not neere our Tent by three miles at least 1 . 

"This 25 of May therefore, wee all day staying in the 

Tent, there came two Ships of Hull into the Sownd ; who, 

knowing that there had been men left there the yeare 

before, the Master 2 (full of desire to know whether we 

1 This statement indicates that the tents were within the bay, but not 
necessarily at the bottom of it. 

- The master's name was Launcelot Anderson. He wrote an account of 
Spitsbergen, which is in the British Museum (MS. Sloane 3986, ff. 78, 79, 
printed in the Geographical Journal, June, 1900, pp. 629-31). It briefly de- 
scribes the adventures of Pellham and his companions. When the eight men 
were found he says they " were pale, leaned, and ill-coloured." 

C. CH. XIII. 11 

1 62 The First Wintering [May 

were alive or dead) man'd out a Shallop from the Ship ; 
with order to row as far up the Sownd as they could, and 
then to hale up their Shallop, and travell overland upon the 
snow unto the Tent. These men, at their comming ashore, 
found the Shallop which we had haled from our Tent into 
the water, with a purpose to goe seeke some Sea-horses the 
next faire weather ; the Shallop being then already fitted 
with all necessaries for that enterprize. This sight brought 
them into a quandary ; and though this encounter made 
them hope, yet their admiration made them doubt that it 
was not possible for us still to remaine alive. Taking 
therefore our lances out of the Boate towards the Tent 
they come ; wee never so much as perceiving of them, for 
wee were all gathered together, now about to goe to 
prayers in the inner Tent, onely Thomas Ayers was not 
come in to us out of the greater Tent. The Hull men 
now comming neere our Tent, haled it with the usuall word 
of the Sea, crying ' Hey': he answered againe with ' Ho,' 
which sudden answer almost amazed them all, causing them 
to stand still halfe afraid at the matter. But we within 
hearing of them, joyfully came out of the Tent, all blacke 
as we were with the smoake, and with our clothes tattered 
with wearing. This uncouth sight made them further 
amazed at us ; but, perceiving us to be the very men 
left there all the yeare, with joyfull hearts embracing us, 
and wee them againe, they came with us into our Tent. 
Comming thus in to us wee showed them the courtesie 
of the house, and gave them such victuals as we had ; 
which was Venison roasted foure moneths before, and a 
Cuppe of cold water, which, for noveltie sake, they kindly 
accepted of us. 

" Then fell we to aske them what newes ? and of the 
state of the Land at home ? and when the London Fleete 
would come ? to all which they returned us the best answers 
they could. Agreeing then to leave the Tent, with them 
wee went to their Shallop, and so aboard the Ship, where 
we were welcomed after the heartiest and kindest English 
manner ; and there we stayed our selves untill the comming 
of the London Fleete, which we much longed for, hoping 
by them to heare from our friends in England. Wee were 
told that they would be there the next day ; but it was full 

1 63 1 J Deliverance 1 63 

three dayes before they came, which seemed to us as tedious 
a three dayes as any we had yet endured, so much we now 
desired to heare from our friends, our wives, and children. 

'"' The 28 of May the London Fleete came into the Port 
to our great comfort. A-board the Admirall we went, unto 
the right noble Captaine William Goodler, who is worthy 
to be honoured by all Sea-men for his courtesie and bounty. 
This is the Gentleman that is every yeare chiefe Com- 
mander of this Fleete ; and right worthy he is so to be, 
being a very wise man, and an expert Mariner as most be 
in England, none dispraised. Unto this Gentleman right 
welcome we were, and joyfully by him received ; hee giving 
order that we should have any thing that was in the Ship 
that might doe us good and increase our strength ; of his 
owne charges giving us apparell also, to the value of twenty 
pounds worth. Thus, after fourteene dayes of refreshment, 
wee grew perfectly well all of us ; whereupon the noble 
Captaine sent William Fakely and John Wyse (Mason's 
own Apprentice), and Thomas Ayres, the Whale-Cutter, 
with Robert Goodfellow, unto Master Mason's Ship, ac- 
cording as themselves desired. But, thinking there to be 
as kindly welcomed as the lost Prodigall, these poore men, 
after their enduring of so much misery, which through his 
meanes partly they had undergone, — no sooner came they 
aboard his ship, but he most unkindly call'd them Run- 
awayes with other harsh and unchristian terms, farre 
enough from the civility of an honest man. Noble 
Captaine Goodler understanding all these passages was 
right sorie for them, resolving to send for them againe, 
but that the weather proved so bad and uncertaine. I for 
mine owne part, remained with the Captaine still at Bottle 
Cove 1 , according to mine owne desire ; as for the rest of us 
that staied with him, hee perferred the Land-men to row in 
the Shallops for the killing of the Whales ; freeing them 
thereby from their toylesome labour a-shoare, bettering 
their Meanes besides. And all these favours did this 
worthy Gentleman for us. 

Thus were wee well contented now to stay there till the 
twentieth of August, hoping then to returne into our native 

This is the first time Londoners are mentioned as occupying Bottle Cove 
alongside of the Hull men. 

CH. XIII. II— 2 

164 The First Wintering 

Country ; which day of departure being come, and we 
imbarked with joyfull hearts, we set sayle through the 
foaming Ocean, and though cross'd sometimes with contrary 
windes homeward bound, yet our proper ships at last came 
safely to an Anchor in the River of Thames, to our great 
joy and comfort and the Merchants benefite. And thus by 
the blessing of God came wee all eight of us well home, 
safe and sound ; where the Worshipfull Companie our 
Masters, the Muscovie Merchants, have since dealt wonder- 
fully well by us. For all which most mercifull Preservation, 
and most wonderfully powerfull Deliverance, all honour, 
praise, and glory be unto the great God, the sole Author 
of it." 



It was characteristic of the energy and determination of 
the men of Hull that their ships were the first to arrive at 
Bell Sound in 1631 and relieve the London whalers. Not- 
withstanding that they had been driven away empty by the 
London ships in 1630 they were not afraid to meet them 
next season and hand over the surviving winterers to them. 
Probably the protest of the Scotch Lord Chancellor had 
produced an effect. On May 25, 1631, we find the Privy 
Council again devoting its attention to the interminable 
dispute 1 . They had before them a series of charges 
brouoTit bv Nathaniel Wright against the London Com- 
pany, and the Company's reply thereto. Wright says that 
the Company "have gotten an ill name and that the Soape 
makers did behinde their backs curse them for exacting^ 
upon them in the price of their oyles and that in a yeare 
wherein God had blessed their voyage with an extraordinarie 
fishinge." The Company reply that when the ships came 
in they lowered the price of oil from ^"26 to £20 per ton, 
prices at Rouen and Amsterdam being £2% and ^22 
respectively. Wright further charges them with exaction 
in the price of whalebone, " who made themselves sellers 
and buyers when they sett up a candle to sell them by." 
The reply is that at the auction the Company were faced 
by an organized knock-out and so they bought their stuff 
in. The last charge is that the Company do not send up 
as many ships to Spitsbergen as they should, the Dutch 
sending yearly 4,000 tons, the London Company only half 
as much. The Company answer that when Wright was 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 192 (May, 1631), No. 36. 


1 66 The Danish IVhalers [1631 

"husband of the Company, having a stock of ,£20,000 
underwritten... the managing of the whole voyage being 
referred to him" he only sent 2,200 tons from London and 
Hull together. " Yet is not ashamed to tax the Company 
for not doine that which while hee was one of the Ad- 
venturers hee thought not fitt to be done." This year the 
Company say that they have sent 14 ships and a pinnace 
(nearly 3000 tons). After hearing both parties the Council 
ordered Wright and Horth to enter into a bond not to send 
ships to Spitsbergen. To Iceland and elsewhere they 
might send. 

Nevertheless Wright and Horth sent their ships to 
Spitsbergen as usual, and " consorted with strangers as 
partners and sharers, thereby giving away, as much as in 
them lies, an interest in that country, which at its discovery 
was named King James Newland 1 ." In consequence 
Wright and Hoarth were criminally proceeded against 
(Nov. 4th). Hoarth was to be kept in custody and pay 
his bond, whilst Wright was committed to the Fleet prison. 

We have been led away by the course of our narrative 
and have omitted mention of the doings of the Danes. In 
1630 Johann Braem of Copenhagen obtained a new charter 
from Christian IV, giving him the right to send six ships to 
fish at Fairhaven, two of them being Basques. This time 
Braem took into partnership Jean Vrolicq, a sea-captain 
described by the Dutch as " estant encore jeune d'ans et 
de basse condition," who had already applied to the King 
of France for a Spitsbergen "octroi," or monopoly. In 
1 63 1, accordingly, Braem sent one ship to Fairhaven, and 
Vrolicq followed with another. They found their place 
taken at Smeerenburg, and no one eager for their com- 
pany, so they moved away and began to fish in Robbe 
Bay, named Port St Pierre by Vrolicq (modern Norsk, 
Kobbe Bay), in the west side of the island, which was 
known thenceforward as Danes Island. The Dutch com- 
mander ordered Vrolicq not to fish, but Braem cleared his 
ship for action, and the protest was not enforced. Vrolicq 
returned to Havre de Grace in high feather, declaring that 
the Dutch had recognized his French commission, which 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 202 (Oct. 1631), No. 7. 

1632] Vrolicq and Brae in 167 

was not true. He accordingly dissolved partnership with 
Braem, who took in two new Biscay partners, whilst Vrolicq 
prepared to go again next year under the sole patronage 
of the King of France and Cardinal Richelieu. In 1632 
Braem appeared at Robbe Bay with one Danish ship and 
accompanied by two ships of St Jean de Luz as partners. 
Vrolicq also arrived with two ships. 

The Dutch Commander J. J. Duynkercker promptly 
compelled Braem's Biscayers, the Pigeon Blanc and the Ste 
Marie, to depart. They sailed away and waited till the 
Dutch had returned home, when, going to Jan Mayen 
Island at the end of August, "they landed and took, 
pillaged, and stole a very great quantity of train-oil, many 
thousands of pieces of whalebone, and other utensils ; also 
broke up the huts and stone houses, ruined many utensils, 
destroyed a number of shallops, which they set adrift in the 
sea, and in fine ravaged and damaged the Dutch Company, 
whose merchandise and equipment had been left there as 
in their own warehouse, where up till then they had ex- 
perienced no such ill-treatment. The Biscayers filled their 
ships with the plunder, carried it off to France, and sold it 
at Rouen and elsewhere 1 ." 

Vrolicq was likewise ordered away by the Dutch, and, 
no longer having Braem's support, was obliged to depart. 
He went to Iceland and fished there. His negotiations 
with the Dutch went on all the winter, the French Govern- 
ment strongly supporting his right to take part in the 
Spitsbergen whaling industry. The Dutch Council eventu- 
ally recommended the Noordsche Company to let him fish 
outside the limits of their fishery, which were now defined 
to be bounded on the south by the south cape of Magdalena 
Bay, and on the north by " de noorder punt ofte noorder 
gatt " — the north point or the north gat 2 . We shall hear 
more of Vrolicq next year. 

The Dutch did not interfere with the Danes, who planted 
themselves securely in Robbe Bay and built themselves 
huts. To complete what remains to be said about the 
Danes we must again depart from the chronological order 

1 Muller, N. Co. pp. 406-413. 

2 Le Moine de PEspine and Isaac Le Long, De Koophandel van Amsterdam^ 
10th edn. Vol. II. pp. 283-309. Amsterdam, 1 801-2, 8vo. 


1 68 Danish Claims [1632 

of our history. In or just after 1633 the rapid increase 
in the number of Dutch ships coming to Smeerenburg 
caused a new grievance. The Danes complained that 
they were incommoded in their fishing by the throng of 
the Dutch. Christian IV took the matter up in 1637, and 
wrote to the States General that too many ships went to 
Fairhaven. The Noordsche Company replied that it was 
true, but that the fault was not theirs, but that of un- 
authorized whalers who came up in spite of their monopoly. 
In 1638, accordingly, three Danish men-of-war were sent to 
the north to reassert the king's claims. In open sea they 
met two of the company's ships, and imposed trifling fines 
upon them. Following them presently to the Foreland, 
where they anchored, they arrested them and kept them 
idle for a month, only at last releasing them on the 
demand of other of the Dutch Company's ships. There- 
upon the old negotiations revived, discussions as to the 
ownership of Spitsbergen, as to its being part of Greenland, 
and so forth. The matter dragged on till 1642, when the 
company's monopoly came to an end, and the Dutch threw 
the fishery open to all Dutch citizens. The king proposed 
that the number of ships should be limited ; the Dutch 
replied that this was impossible now that the monopoly 
was ending. Finally the king agreed to the freedom of 
fishing. Nothing more was heard of Denmark's sovereign 
rights after this, for the very good reason that the whales 
presently abandoned the coasts and bays of Spitsbergen, 
which thenceforward became valueless as a whaling base. 
We return to the events of 1632. Smeerenburg and 
the equipment stored there had, by this time, grown to 
represent a large capital for that period, and the Noordsche 
Company obviously could not afford to allow such interests 
as theirs in Spitsbergen to be trifled with. Moreover, they 
had three large warehouses, "Groenlandsche Pakhuizen," at 
Amsterdam, on the west side of the Keizersgracht near its 
north end, between the Brouwersgracht and the Prinsen- 
straat 1 . These warehouses contained large accommodation 

1 The land on which they were built was bought in 1620, the probable date 
of the building (Muller, p. 121, note). After the expiration of the Noordsche 
Company's monopoly, and the abandonment of Smeerenburg and Jan Mayen 
as settlements, these warehouses were the only immovable property of the 
Amsterdam adventurers. 


In the Keizersgracht, Amsterdam, from a print after a drawing by Wencke r 
published by ' Het Zondagsblad van het Nieuus van den Dag.' no. 1905. 

1632] The Dutch Establishment 169 

for the necessary equipment of the fishery and for merchan- 
dise. There were great stone-cisterns in cellars for storing 
the train-oil, which was "better preserved there and less 
subject to leakage than in vats 1 ." 

The Groenlandsche Pakhuizen at Amsterdam still 
stand in good preservation with a noble tree before them 
and the canal (Keizers Gracht) beyond. There are three 
of them, one like another externally. They stand in a row 
some six doors south of the Church of St Ignatius. Their 
brown bricks have grown browner with age, but the well- 
built walls are firm. Now they are common warehouses, 
but they retain their old name, and I am told that down in 
the basement there are still evidences of their old use — 
vats and what-not — but these I could not see when I was 
there and could not wait to see later. 

At Jan Mayen Island they had other "tents," ware- 
houses, and equipment similar to those at Smeerenburg, so 
that their venture was a very large one. We can easily 
imagine the horror with which they heard of the destruction 
and robbery perpetrated upon their property at Jan Mayen 
in 1632 by the angry Basques, who had been refused per- 
mission to fish off Smeerenburg. The matter, we may 
be sure, was seriously debated in the general assemblage of 
the "kamers" of the Noordsche Company. What should 
they do ? The amount of their loss was as yet unknown, 
but it was certainly heavy. The thieves were selling their 
spoil at Rouen and elsewhere. What they had done with 
impunity at Jan Mayen, they might do again at Smeeren- 
burg, and there was practically no redress to be had. 
They would protest, of course, and the States-General 
would back their claim for compensation. Richelieu would 
be appealed to, and plenty of ink would be spilt, but money 
would not be forthcoming. The English had never paid 
for their extortions, and they themselves had never paid 
and did not intend to pay any of the claims made against 
them by foreigners. What was past was past ; the question 
now was how to protect themselves in future. Perhaps 
some wise reformer, a quarter of a century before his day, 

1 Le Moine de l'Espine and Isaac Le Long, De Koophandel van Amsterdam, 
10th edit., Vol. n. pp. 283-309. Amsterdam, 1 801-2, 8vo. 


170 Proposed Colonization [1633 

expressed a doubt whether these buildings, storehouses, 
and cookeries were not altogether a mistake. They should 
bring their blubber home in barrels, and boil it down in 
the Netherlands ; they would thus be saved all the great 
capital expenses in the unprotected north, which swallowed 
up much of their profits. If such considerations were put 
forward by someone, the majority were of another way of 
thinking. They were committed to the policy of a private 
Dutch settlement and a great Smeerenburg. Money had 
been spent upon it, and if more were needed, more must 
be forthcoming. They had gone too far to turn back 
without ruin. Smeerenburg had a great future, and would 
well repay them. Who could say what it might grow to 
in a century or two? It might become the capital of a 
Dutch arctic colony, with a monopoly of the whole whale- 
fishery. The real solution of their troubles was to be found 
only in colonization. 

Colonization, as we have seen, was no new proposal. 
The English had endeavoured to effect it, but failed. 
Since then, however, the eight English sailors had lived 
through an arctic winter and Pellham's account of their 
exploit had been published ( 163 1) and doubtless widely 
read in Holland, where so many people took an interest in 
arctic adventure. What the English could do, it would 
fairly be argued, Dutch men could do. Let seven men be 
left next winter at Jan Mayen and another seven at 
Smeerenburg. The men would be forthcoming, if they 
were well paid. They could man the forts, and drive away 
any pirates who might attempt to land. The plan was 
approved, men were found ready to venture their lives for 
its execution, and all the needful preparations were made. 
The prospective winterers went up w T ith the whaling fleet 
in the spring of 1633. 

The season of 1633 seems to have been a good one. 
The Dutch had a little trouble with Vrolicq again, who once 
more appeared at Robbe Bay. Commander Cornelis Pz. 
Ys sent for him to come and see him at Smeerenburo-, and 
there ordered him to take himself outside the Dutch limits. 
Vrolicq suggested that English Bay (or South Gat) in 
Fairhaven would suit him, but Ys said that that was used 
by the Dutch. Vrolicq then suggested Magdalena Bay, 

1633] Vrolicq again 171 

which was likewise refused 1 . Accordingly Vrolicq decided 
to take possession of a little bay, wholly omitted on all 
modern charts (except the French local chart of Magdalena 
Bay), that lies between Magdalena and Hamburger Bays. 
He named it Port Louis, or Le Refuge Francois ; others 
generally called it Baskes Bay. It proved to be an ex- 
cellent fishing station. Having established himself there, 
Vrolicq made raids into Magdalena Bay, where the Dutch 
captured five of his shallops at one time or another before 
they persuaded him to desist. In the winter of 1633-4 
negotiations took place between the Dutch and French 
governments, wherein memoirs were put forward on behalf 
of the disputing parties. The Dutch memoir was accom- 
panied by Middelhoven's map, which is preserved in the 
Royal Archives of the Hague, where I traced it 2 . A con- 
temporary map based upon Vrolicq's information is now 
the property of Mr Cash, of Edinburgh. In 1634 Vrolicq 
was again at Port Louis. Dutch opposition, however, 
ultimately ruined him. He obtained, indeed, letters of 
reprisal against the Dutch but could make no use of them 
because of the league at that time existing between Dutch 
and French 3 . 

The Noordsche Company's charter did not expire till 
the end of 1634. Taking time by the forelock they applied 
for a renewal of it in the autumn of 1633. Many Dutch- 
men did not think the monopoly should be renewed but 
that the fishery should now be thrown open to all Dutch 
ships. When the Frieslanders saw that this was not to be, 
and found themselves still excluded from the company, 

1 The South Gat and Magdalena Bay had both been English stations, but 
were abandoned by the English, as we have seen, about 1624 or 1625. 

- Middelhoven's' map is accompanied by an affidavit sworn to by the follow- 
ing Dutch "seafaring pilots," all of whom were doubtless Spitsbergen skippers: 
Pieter Cornelisz. aged 69, Henrick Cornelisz. Pailjart, aged 53, Christian Corne- 
lisz., aged 37, Jacob Tennisz., aged 36, and Lucas Bouwensz., aged 33 or 
thereabouts. These men deposed that they " had seen and measured this 
chart in all its points and parts, lengths and heights " and that " they found it to 
correspond in all respects with the aforesaid land of Spitsbergen, its havens or 
bays." And in particular " that from Vogelhouck northwards the land does not 
extend further than 14 or 15 German miles." The map is signed " Michiel 
Harmansz. Middelhoven fecit '," and Middelhoven states upon it that he employed 
" David Davitsz., teacher of navigation at Rotterdam, to make the same with 
great accuracy according to the best authorities." 

3 See document printed by Dr E. T. Hamy, in Bull, de ge'og. hist, et descript. 
Paris, 1901 ; p. 35, note. 


172 Dutch Charter of 1633 [1633 

they obtained a charter from the States of Friesland, and 
ships of Harlingen and Stavoren went to the fishery under 
this charter. We shall see that the Frieslanders were 
allowed two years later to combine with the Noordsche 
Company 1 . It may be mentioned that the leader of the 
Stavoren adventurers was Wybe Jansz, after whom Wybe 
Jans Water was named, an indication that the Frieslanders 
were energetic in the eastward fishery. Till they entered 
the Noordsche Company the eastward region and the open 
sea were perhaps the only fishing areas open to them. 

In the Noordsche Company's application for a new 
charter they recited how " for the maintenance and service 
of the whaling industry and fishery they had built at great 
cost forts, houses, and warehouses for dwelling and pro- 
tection, so as to put the fact of their possession beyond 
reach of question ; and how the more certainly to maintain 
the same against all foreign nations and others, they had 
especially and extraordinarily at great expense fitted out 
some ships with men and all things needful and had left 
them to dwell and overwinter in Spitsbergen and Mauritius 
(Jan Mayen) Island, in order to keep a continuous occu- 
pation of those places." The States General granted a 
new charter for eight years, dated October 25, 1633. 

The eight years were to be counted from the beginning 
of 1635, so that the monopoly lasted till the end of the 
season of 1642. It then expired and was not renewed. 

We are not here concerned with the fortunes or mis- 
fortunes of the Jan Mayen winterers. They all died, 
leaving behind them a pathetic journal, which was published 
in Dutch and republished in English more than once". 
The winterers at Smeerenburg were more energetically 
and wisely led by their able captain, Jacob Segersz. Vander 
Brugge, who wrote a most interesting journal, the only 
book ever written at Smeerenburg in its great days. Vander 

1 See Zorgdrager, German edn. pp. 217-224. 

2 "Twee Journalen, Het Eerste gehouden by de Seven Matroosen, Op het 
Eylandt Mauritius, in Groenlandt, In den Jare 1633 en 1634 in haer Over- 
winteren, doch sijn al t'samen gestorven : En het tweede gehouden by de Seven 
Matroosen, die op Spitsbergen Zijn Overwintert, en aldaer ghestorven, in den 
Jare 1634" [i.e. in 1634-5 ; the second lot of Smeerenburg winterers]. Amster- 
dam (Saeghman) s.d. (1635). 4to. 

English translations of this book are printed in Churchill's Collection of 
Voyages, Vol. II., and in Pinkerton's Collection, Vol. I. 

1633] The Dutch Wintering 173 

Brugge's journal was likewise printed in Dutch, and passed 
through several editions 1 . 

On August 30, 1633, the whaling fleet, after taking an 
honourable farewell of the winterers, sailed out of the North 
Bay and passed the West Bay the same night. Vander 
Brugge and his six comrades, left alone, began by making 
good resolutions to collect all the fresh food they could, 
to do their duty, and to sing a psalm and pray morning and 
evening before their meals. The very next day they made 
a boat expedition to Zealand Bay, and climbed high up 
a hill on the mainland near Alabaster Hook" (a name not 
mentioned elsewhere) to survey the sea, which was covered 
with ice. They slept in a tent made of oars and a sail, 
then sailed past Monier Bay, lost themselves in fog and 
storm, and returned tired out to Smeerenburg on Sep- 
tember 2. The same day they made a plan that, in the 
event of Biscay or other ships appearing in the bay, they 
would light fires in all the "tents" to deceive them, and 
make smoke rise from all the chimneys, fly their flags, fire 
some shots from the fort, and make a loud noise, being 
also careful to observe to what nation the ships belonged. 
They also arranged to keep watch day and night. Except 
in utterly bad weather, they kept busy. One day they rowed 
into West Bay ; another they prepared to try and kill a 
whale, their idea being to fasten the harpoon-line of 70 
or 80 fathoms to a couple of casks and throw them over- 
board when they had struck a fish. The arrangement when 

1 "Journal of Dagh-Register, gehouden by Seven Matroosen, In haer Over- 
winteren op Spitsbergen in Maurits-bay, Gelegen in Groenlandt, t'zedert het 
vertreck van de Visschery-Schepen de Geoctroyeerde Noordtsche Compagnie, 
in Nederlandt, zijnde den 30. Augusty, 1633 tot de wederkomst der voorsz. 
Schepen, den 27. May, Anno 1634. Beschreven door den Bevelhebber Jacob 
Segersz. van der Brugge." Amsterdam (Saeghman) s.d. (1634). 4to. Vide 
Tiele's bibliographical Memoire, p. 277. An English translation of this journal 
is included in the present writer's Spitsbergen volume, published by the Hakluyt 

This book and that mentioned in the previous note seem to have been con- 
fused together, even by their publisher, for he published a second edition of 
Vander Brugge's journal with a wrong title beginning " Twee Journalen, yeder 
gehouden," etc., an evident blunder arising out of confusion with the other 
book. Vander Brugge's book did not contain (even in this later edition) 
"twee Journalen," but only one. Copies of both these editions are in the 
British Museum Library, where I have compared them (10460 bbb 10 and 13). 

2 Probably it was from this place that the rock was fetched which, as 
Zorgdrager relates, was employed in the Delft porcelain works (German edit., 
p. 90). 


174 The DutcJi Wintering [1633 

tried was a failure, for the casks dragged the harpoon out. 
They also fished up old whalebone from shallow places near 
the shore. On different occasions they made expeditions 
to search for scurvy grass, and found it in considerable 
quantities at three places, which they named the Salaet 
Hills, all on Amsterdam Island. They spread the scurvy 
grass out in one of the "tents." They also made a 
journey to Red Beach to kill reindeer, and hung the 
meat up on pegs to freeze in the same "tent." They 
killed birds also, and preserved them in the same manner. 
One day they found a dead whale near the Archipelago, 
and made tremendous efforts to secure it, but a storm 
drove it out to sea, after they had towed it for twelve 
hours. They kept a careful look-out for whales, it being 
doubtless their duty to observe whether winter whaling 
would pay. Once a whale got aground just off the settle- 
ment, but he worked himself off again. At the beginning 
of October they observed the departure of the birds. Great 
cold came on about the middle of the month. On the 15th 
they climbed " the hill " and caught a last glimpse of the 
sun. About a fortnight later the first bears were seen, and 
the last whales soon after. Now a series of bear-fights 
came on, which kept them busy on and off all the winter. 
They must have collected a valuable quantity of skins. 
Once or twice they had narrow escapes. They were struck 
with wonder sometimes by the northern lights, but say less 
about them than might be expected. They trapped and 
shot many foxes, and found their flesh good, especially 
when boiled with plums and raisins. On March 7 they 
launched their boat once more and killed a walrus. On 
May 1 they celebrated the Spitsbergen carnival. The 
ducks began to return about that time. They became 
busier now every day, killing bears, walruses, seals, and 
birds 1 . At last, on May 27, a shallop came in, sent by the 
commander from his ship off Robbe Bay. He came into 
the West Bay himself next day, and five more ships soon 
followed. The seven winterers were all found in excellent 
health. They had kept busy and fed themselves well with 
fresh meat during the nine months and five days of their 
lonely exile. Lacking the knowledge that has deprived an 

1 In all they killed and did not lose 29 bears during the winter. 

1634] English Rivalries 175 

arctic winter of its terrors, they were surrounded every day 
by the terrors of the unknown ; but, being brave and active 
men with a good leader, they never lost heart, and never 
gave way to poisonous idleness. Hence their safety. 

After the renewal of the Noordsche Company's privilege 

in 1633 there was a great increase in the number of Dutch 

ships sailing to the fishery. The London Company foresaw 

that this would be the case. In April, 1634, they informed 

the Privy Council that they were likely to be opposed by 

more foreign ships than ever. They themselves were 

intending " in lyke manner to goe this yeare extraordinarily 

strong," they therefore begged for effective protection 

against English interlopers. The Star Chamber might 

prohibit ; they might put Wright and Hoarth in prison, 

but Edwards managed to get English ships to sail for him 

in spite of everything. There were Yarmouth ships at the 

fishery in 1633 and again in 1634. In the latter year Hoarth's 

ships, the Mayflower and the. James, commanded by William 

Cave and Thomas Wilkinson, took possession of the cove 

in the south side of Horn Sound, called Bowles Bay by the 

English, Goeshaven by the Dutch, which was the London 

Company's regular station. Captain Goodlad came up as 

usual in command of the London fleet and distributed his 

ships to their several harbours, himself settling at Port 

Nick in Ice Sound. About the 7th of July he heard of the 

'Yarmouth ships at Horn Sound, how they had "pit up 

their tents and kept their shallops with the Companie's to 

look out for whales and put them by from many whales 

which they might have killed, tending to over throwe their 

voyadge if he did not take some order therein." Goodlad 

accordingly went to Bowles Bay with his two "shipps of 

warr," but could not get into the bay because they drew 

too much water. So he landed and went along the shore 

"with some of his cheife men to the Yarmouth shipps, 

demaunding of William Cave and Wilkinson and one 

Seaman, the Principall commanders of the said Yarmouth 

shipps, by what authority " they were there. They showed 

Edwards' Scotch patent "with all using ill language towards 

Captain Goodlad, saying they expected as much favor from 

him as from a Turk or Jew." Goodlad accordingly ordered 

them to depart and they refused, "and would maynteyne 


176 Goodlad' s action [1634 

the harbor with their blood and did sleight the order of the 
board as a piece of paper. 

"Whereupon Captain Goodlad would have haled up 
their coppers but was resisted by Cave, Seaman, and 
others, and himselfe like to have bin spoyled with the 
boyling oyle. Soe finding this ill usage at their hands, 
within fower houres after, brought diverse of his men to 
recover the harbour from them. But first sent five of his 
cheife men to know their resolucon, whoe could receave 
no other answer from them but blood ; and Cave called 
Captain Goodlad theife, whereas he came with the King's 
Commission as a true man, and with order from the board 
and the Commission of the Companie. And Cave having 
eighty men in armes attending him hee commanded them 
to fight or loose their wages. Hee alsoe placed aboard his 
shipps within Pistoll shott of Captain Goodlad and his 
Company fyve peeces of great Ordnance, charged with 
burr shott and small bulletts, and twenty men to discharge 
them (upon a watchword or token, and retreate of Cave 
and his men behinde their coppers) at Captain Goodlad 
and his companie, which if it had taken effect would in all 
likelyhood have spoyled above one hundred men, but it 
pleased God they were prevented by the misty weather. 

" Afterwards one of their men falling downe with a 
shott from our men, the busines was composed by Cap- 
taine Goodlad to avoid further shedding the blood of our 
countrey men (although he was provoked beyond measure) 
and sending his Chirurgion a board of Cave's shipp to 
dresse the man that was hurt, they confessed to the Chirur- 
gion Cave's cruell intent and shewed him the burr shot. 
They alsoe confessed that 3 men with musketts were sett 
to kill Captaine Goodlad, and one of them levelled fyve 
tymes at him, but the peece would not take fire, and 
Captaine Goodlad was forced to close with him and take 
away his muskett. Cave's brother alsoe confessed that he 
did discharge his muskett 4 tymes before Captaine Goodlad 
came to them, and every tyme hitt the marke, but presenting 
his peece fyve tymes at him it would not take fire, but after 
the busines ended, turning his backe, with the first touch 
of the match it went off and hitt the marke, which he told 
to the Chirurgion 

4i **-V 

a si % 


Collidg killed 


" By these proceedings it may appear how bold Hoarth 
of Yarmouth is against the authority which our Companie 
have under the great seale of England 1 ," etc. 

Horth and the other Yarmouth men were ordered to 
appear before the Privy Council. 

The Yarmouth men said that Goodlad "shot off his 
owne Pistoll first and then commanded his men to doe the 
like, whereupon they shott off their Musketts (haveing no 
manner of opposition) and kild many of those men, which 
went forth under the Scottish Commission. Amongst the 
men that was then slain Richard Collidg was then and 
there most Barbourously and Cruelly Murthered 2 ." Ed- 
wards and the men employed by him petitioned the Privy 
Council of Scotland for protection. They took up the case 
and by a letter to the King " recommended the trial of 
those grievances and that recompense be made to the 
petitioner and that he and his servants for the time to come 
may peaceably continue their trade 3 ." 

The question was referred to a Committee composed of 
notable men of both nations, who advised a compromise, 
and that the rival companies should amalgamate. 

The man who came off worst in this business, after 
Richard Colledg who was killed, was his brother Thomas. 
Naturally anxious to avenge Richard's death he procured a 
warrant from the Lord High Marshal, the Earl of Arundel, 
for the arrest of Goodlad. In company with a "pursivant" 
he proceeded to arrest him. Thereupon Archbishop Laud 
sent for the prisoner Goodlad, for the "pursivant," and for 
Thomas Colledg. He discharged Goodlad but committed 
the "pursivant" and Colledg to the Fleet Prison. This 
apparently high-handed action, the reasons for which are 
not given, was afterwards raked up against Laud, when 
he was on his trial. It appears that in 1643 Colledg 
was still in prison in spite of application made to Parlia- 
ment, on his behalf in 1640, when Mr Pym was ordered 
to investigate the case and heard several witnesses to the 
facts 4 . 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 275 (Oct. 1634), No. 30. 

2 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 499 (1643), No. 47. 

3 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1634-35, p. 461. 

4 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 499 (1643), No. 47. 




178 The Soap Monopoly [1634 

An unexpected action of the Government in 1634 gave 
the Muscovy Company's Directors a horrible fright. When 
they were least expecting it, the proprietors of a soap- 
patent procured a proclamation from the King forbidding 
the use in soap-making of any oil except olive and rape. 
The whaling company immediately protested. They pointed 
out that such a regulation meant utter ruin to them. " This 
voyage hath yearlie brought home 1,100 tunne of oyle, as 
by the medium of the last eight yeares, of which there 
never was 50 tunne in anie one yeare sold for other use 
than soape making 1 ... The rest of their retourne is whale- 
bones and seahorse teeth." They add some further in- 
teresting particulars. The average tonnage annually 
employed by the company was 2,500 s ; the number of 
mariners 1,000, "whereof 500 are bred of landsmen" and 
so turned into sailors. The yearly charge of the voyage 
was ,£12,000. It had cost the company ,£40,000 to 
uphold their trade against the Dutch. If the company did 
not send their ships up this year the Dutch might take 
away or destroy their coppers, vessels, and provisions left 
there 3 . The company appear to have got satisfaction, and 
their ships went up in 1635 as usual. 

In the winter of 1634-35, while these debates were 
going on at home, the frost-bound harbour of Smeerenburg 
was the scene of a grim tragedy. The fact that, in the 
preceding winter, the Jan Mayen winterers had died, whilst 
those in Spitsbergen like the English in 1630 had survived, 
not unnaturally led men to conclude that the latter country 
had a healthier winter climate. The men's safety was 
referred to that, instead of to their activity and the wisdom 
of their leaders. 

Plenty of volunteers were forthcoming to spend the 
next winter (1634-35) at Smeerenburg, but apparently none 
for Jan Mayen. On September 11, 1634, the selected 
seven winterers were left behind in the "tent" of Middel- 
burg, and the whaling fleet sailed for home. The men 
appear to have had little initiative. They did not go to 

1 But Martens (in 1671) states that "the train-oyl of the whale is used by 
several, viz. by the frize-makers, curriers, cloth-workers, and soap-boilers, but the 
greatest use that is made of it is to burn it in lamps instead of other oyl." 

2 They say 25,000, but this is an obvious slip of the pen. 

3 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 279, Nos. 71, 72, 74. 

1 63s] ^4 Dutch Tragedy 179 

hunt for reindeer, and they could find no scurvy grass. By 
November 24 scurvy appeared amongst them, and all they 
could do was to comfort "one another with hopes that God 
would provide for them something or other for their Re- 
freshment." They fell back upon physic. On December 24 
they wounded a bear, but were too weak to kill it. From 
that day all were doomed men. The first died on January 14, 
and two more in the next few days. The survivors saw 
the sun again on February 24. On the 26th they wrote 
their last record : " Four of us that are still alive lie flat 
upon the Ground in our Hutts {i.e. bunks). We believe 
we could still feed, were there but one among us that 
could stir out of his Hutt to get us some Fewel, but no 
Body is able to stir for Pain. We spend our time in 
constant Prayers to implore God's Mercy to deliver us 
out of this misery, being ready whenever He pleases to 
call on us." 

All were found dead when the ships arrived next 
summer. A baker was the first man ashore. He broke 
open the back door of the tent which the men had 
inhabited and "running upstairs found there, upon the 
floor, part of a dead dog... and another at the stair foot 
in the Buttry. From hence passing through another door 
towards the fore-door, in order to open it, he stumbled in 
the darkness over the dead bodies of the men, whom they 
saw (after the door was opened) altogether in the same 
place, 3 in coffins," two in cabins or bunks, and two lying 
on sails on the floor. They were buried, perhaps on Dead- 
man Island, the usual burying-place. Twenty years later 
their bodies were seen, still in perfect preservation 1 . 

In 1878 a Dutch frigate, sent on a voyage of Arctic 
research, landed at Smeerenburg and set up a monument to 
these winterers. It does not stand on Deadman Island, 
which was so named, as Martens gruesomely says, "because 
the dead are buried there in this fashion : the dead are laid 
in a coffin and well covered over with great rocks. After- 
wards the white bears find them and devour them." There 
were burial-places on Amsterdam Island too. Buchan's 
party in 1 8 1 8 counted 1,000 graves on the site. It is at 

1 M. Blaeu, Atlas Historique. Vide Churchill, Vol. II. p. 427 ; Scoresby, 
\ ol. 11. p. 51. Anderson's Commerce, sub ann. 1634. 

CH. XIV. I2 — 2 

180 A Dutch Commemoration 

Smeerenburg itself that Beynen and his companions set 
up the Dutch memorial. No apology is needed for quoting 
at length the following account of its dedication. 

" As soon as the vessel was safely at anchor, men and 
officers landed, to visit Smeerenburg. How few traces 
were to be found of the busy days of old ! How lifeless and 
forsaken was the place that, for so many years, had been 
frequented by hundreds of cheerful workers... The former 
localities of the seven ' Chambers ' of the Netherlands — 
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Middelburg, Flushing, Enkhuizen, 
Delft, and Hoorn — were easily distinguished by the remains 
of circular walls on which the oil-boiler had rested. One 
must imagine a plain, white with snow, which has melted 
at the water's edge, where the ground is strewn with broken 
red tiles and rubbish, enormous bones of whales, oars, 
half-rotten rope, and here and there a grave : and one has 
a true but not an enchanting idea of what remains of a 
place once so much frequented by our ships. The burial- 
place, at the northern end of the beach, had, if possible, 
a still more melancholy look, the crosses fallen, skulls and 
bones scattered about. With difficulty some of the in- 
scriptions on the crosses were made out, and were as 
follows : 

Here lies buried Jan Fred Meyrot van 

Pruysen, who rests in the Lord, the 19th 

July, of the ship Evenwicht, 

Commander Cornells Dek, 1778. 

Here lies buried Uurjaen Klaesz. Kromen 

van Son. 

Here lies buried Hendrijk. Selden van 

Gestack, died in the ship Frouw Anne, 

Commander Derk Driewes, 1742." 

The coffins were nailed down and the crosses replaced. 
On the following day a cairn was built on the highest spot 
among the graves, against which was placed one of the 
stones brought from the fatherland. The following inscrip- 
tion is engraved upon it. 

at Smeerenburg 181 


In Memoriam 

Spitsbergen, or Newland, 


in 79 30' N. Latitude 

by the Hollanders. 

Here wintered, 1633-34, 
Jacob Seegersz. and Six Others. 

Here wintered and died, 1634-35, 

Andries Jansz. of Middelburg 


Six Others. 

Late in the evening, before midnight, the whole crew paid 
a last visit to the spot, and the commander took the oppor- 
tunity of addressing the following few words to them : 

" ' Men ! by the placing of this stone we have fulfilled 
the wish of Holland, which was to set it up as a token of 
the great honour in which she holds the memory of the 
brave deeds and adventurous spirit of our dauntless sea- 
fathers. For centuries their ashes have reposed here. As 
we look round we see that but little remains of many of 
their graves. But the honour in which we hold the memory 
of those men will never fade away, as long as the flag of 
Holland proudly flies in all seas. For in days gone by 
they did much for the honour and prosperity of our dear 

"It was a strange sight to behold these fourteen sturdy 
seamen standing at the burial-place of Dutch sailors long 
passed away on this distant shore, and fulfilling a work of 
love !" 




The season of 1635 was uneventful. The London 
Company now had to apply for exemption of their sailors 
from empressment. There were 260 of them this year and 
they were duly let off. The landsmen, coopers, and other 
servants are not included in these 260. At Smeerenburg 
the throng of ships increased. All available space on the 
flat ground was occupied. There was room for no more 
ships to range themselves along the shore, and for no more 
huts to be built in convenient situations. Hence when, in 
1636, the whalers of Harlingen and Stavoren were allowed 
to join the Noordsche Company 1 , it was stipulated that they 
should find some other place for their cookery. 

They accordingly chose a site on Danes Island, over 
against Deadman Island, and there they erected their 
cookery. It was called the cookery of Harlingen". It 
occupied almost exactly the position where Mr Arnold Pike 
built the hut in which he wintered, and where the unfortu- 
nate Andree erected his balloon. This marked the cul- 
mination of Smeerenburg's prosperity. Zorgdrager states 
that the ships that came up for the fishery did not suffice to 
carry away the train-oil made in a season, but that extra 
ships had to be sent to carry it home. He says that this 
was an annual custom which lasted on even after " the times 
of the Company," that is to say, after 1642. 

1 From this agreement we learn that the shares in the Company were 
divided between Holland, Zeeland, and Friesland holders in the proportion of 
6:2:1. It was signed by representatives of the Chambers in the order of 
seniority and importance thus: — Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam, Hoorn.Enkhuizen, 
Middelburg, Flushing (Zeeland), and Harlingen (Friesland). 

2 Martens refers to it by this name, which his English translator gratuitously 
altered into Cookery of Haarlem. The mistake is not rectified in the Hakluyt 
Society's edition. 

Events in 1636 183 

We hear casually of Danes at Spitsbergen in this year. 
The only fact recorded about them is that they neglected 
the fishery and devoted their energies to searching for 
Cfold and silver 1 . 

Fourteen French ships went to the fishery in 1636. 
How many of them made Spitsbergen their station is not 
recorded. It is probable that the Biscay whalers already 
devoted chief attention to the open sea fishery, which was 
always free to everyone, and in which they were the earliest 
experts. As we have seen they used to boil down their 
oil on board ship, a method adopted from them and carried 
out down to our own day by the whalers of Nantucket. 
By this time, no doubt, there were Dutch ships engaged in 
the open sea fishery, though we hear little about them. It 
is recorded that, as early as 1626, two Zaandam whalers, 
en route for Nassau Straits, were the first Dutch who ever 
killed a whale in the open sea 2 . Other Dutch whalers, 
excluded from Smeerenburg, were doubtless not slow to 
follow this example. 

In the autumn of 1636 the French Biscayers received a 
blow, from which they did not soon recover, when the 
Spaniards sacked St Jean de Luz, Cibourre, and Soccoa, 
and captured 14 great ships, recently come in from the 
north "charge's de fanons et de lard." A few French ships 
apparently went up next year, but in 1639 no French ships 
appeared in Spitsbergen, nor are they heard of there again 
during the continuance of the bay fishery. It does not, 
however, follow that none went up. Perhaps they found it 
more profitable to prey upon returning Dutch and English 
whalers, for we frequently find references henceforward to 
Biscay and Dunkerk privateers, who were a standing 
nuisance in the north to a much later date 3 . 

We have little information about the year 1637. We 
only know that Horth sent ships to Spitsbergen at a charge 
of more than ^600 a month. We find him in dispute with 
his employer Edwards, and contracting with the " Sopers of 
W estminster," a new manufacturing company, to supply 
them with oil, which the Privy Council forbids him to do. 

1 Scoresby, Arctic Regions, II. p. 167. 

2 Wassenaer, Hist. verh. XI. fol. 134. 

3 Scoresby, Arctic Regions, II. 165. 

CH. xv. 

184 The Sopers of Westminster 

He claims that the Sopers cannot get oil except from 
Holland. The reply is that the London Company has 
more oil in stock than they can sell. The price had sunk 
to £\b per ton, so that the whaling fleets must have been 
very successful at this time 1 . 

The " Sopers of Westminster " were a corporation, 
"being most part of them Popish Recusants," to whom a 
patent and monopoly was granted by the King in 1631 for 
the making of a white soap by what the London soap- 
makers described as a "pretended new" process. From 
the moment of their coming into existence thev were at 
loggerheads with the London soap-makers. In 1632 they 
obtained a royal proclamation to the effect that "no oyle 
bee used in soape but olive and rape oyle." This put the 
London men out of business and was a severe blow to the 
Whaling Company. Protests and law-suits followed, as 
already stated. In 1634 we find the Westminster soapers 
using train-oil in their manufacture. After 1637 the new 
company appears to have been bought out by the London 
men, who had been practically kept out of business from 
1632 to 1637, "The Greenland (Spitsbergen) trade and all 
fishing trades having been most extreamely interrupted and 
damnified by this Project 2 ." 

The only information we possess about the year 1638 
has been already mentioned above, that in this year the 
King of Denmark sent three men-of-war to Spitsbergen to 
assert his sovereign rights. It is probable that in one of 
these ships the Spanish naturalist Leonin was a passenger. 
He was sent up about this time by the Grand Marshal of 
Denmark to bring back a description of the country, which 
was published in 1647 by Isaac de la Peyrere in his well- 
known Relation du Groenlande*. Leonin's observations are 
not of much interest now. The Danish ships brought home 
some birdskins, which were afterwards stuffed, and some 
polar bears alive. The Grand Marshal kept these bears at 
Copenhagen, and used to have them thrown into the water 
that he might see them dive and swim. Poor Leonin 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domes tie, 1637, pp. 2Q, 30, 288. 

2 A short and true Relation concerning the Soap-busines. London, 1641, 4to. 

3 Translated in A. White's Spitsbergen and Greenland (Hakluyt Society), 
London, 1855, 8vo, pp. 233-236. 

Events in 1639 l &5 

"returned from this Voyage so cramp'd with cold that he 
lived not long after." 

A significant fact recorded in 1639 is that two Amster- 
dam ships belonging to the Noordsche Company fished in 
the open sea between Spitsbergen and the North Cape 1 . 
Of the English whalers we hear nothing, but we find the 
merchants of York and Hull petitioning to be allowed to 
open a soap factory at York, such as there once was, 
which used great quantities of whale-oil. They now suffer 
from the want of vent for oils brought to Hull from Spits- 
bergen. After negotiations the London soap-monopolists 
agreed to open a factory at York and to buy the Hull oil, 
paying ten shillings less for it per ton than the current price 
in London' 2 . By what impediments industry was hampered 
in those days! Such conditions as are thus revealed amply 
account for the growing reaction against monopolies. 

The only account we possess of a season's work at 
Smeerenburg in its great days comes from this year, 1639. 
It was written by Dirck Albertsz. Raven of Hoorn*. On 
May 7 Raven sailed from the Texel in his ship Spits- 
bergheu, in company with six other vessels, whereof only 
one (Captain Gale Hamkes) stayed with him. On May 21 
he sighted Spitsbergen in lat. 78°, and saw the ice packed 
against the land. Next day he spoke two Danish ships, 
who told him that the ice was also packed up against the 
land further north. The same day he sighted a Delft ship, 
and a violent storm arose, in which his ship collided with 
ice and became a mere drifting wreck. All but twenty men 
of a crew of eighty-six were washed overboard. On the 
24th, Gale Hamkes, in the Oranje Boom, of Harlingen, 
came up with him and took off the survivors, who for forty- 
four hours had been hanging on to the wreck in bitter cold 
without food or drink. On the 27th they came to off the 

1 Muller, p. 1 16. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1639, pp. 45, 363. 

"Journael ofte Beschrijvinghe vande reyse ghedaen by den Commandeur 
Dirck Albertsz. Raven, nae Spitsbergen, in den Jare 1639 ten dienste vande 
E. Heeren Bewindt-hebbers vande Groenlandtsche Compagnie tot Hoorn. 
Door hem selver beschreven.'' Hoorn (Jan Jansz. Deutel), 1646, 4to. Second 
edition, Utrecht (E. W. Snellaert), 1647, 4to. To Raven's diary is appended 
;i " Kort Yerhael uyt het Journael vande Personen die op Spitsbergen in't over- 
winteren ghestorven zijn Anno 1634." Vide Tiele's Me'moire bibliographique, 
p. 213. for further bibliographical information. 

CH. XV. 

1 86 The Ryke Yse Islands 

entrance of West Bay, which was full of ice. Not till July 4 
could they reach Smeerenburg, where the boats of Gale 
Hamkes brought them to the "tents" of Hoorn. "There 
we at once set to work and made our three shallops ready, 
which we had left behind the year before with all their 
belongings. Very soon we had killed three fish 1 ." Later, 
two more Hoorn ships came into the bay, and the survivors 
were divided between them, and so returned home at the 
end of the season. 

From this account it is evident that Mauritius Bay and 
the neighbouring sounds were still an excellent whaling 
base. Yet it was about 1640 that the whales began to grow 
" shy of the Cookeries and anchorages of the ships, shallops, 
and what pertained to them 2 ." The whale-boats had to 
await them nearer the open sea. For some years a profit- 
able fishery was carried on at the North bank, a shoal near 
the entrance of the North Bay, and at Keerenskaar, a similar 
bank at the mouth of West Bay. It was possible to tow 
a dead whale thence to Smeerenburg, but as the whales were 
driven further off, Smeerenburg became a less and less con- 
venient cookery. Perhaps this began to be recognised about 
1642. The sea-fishery was open. There was no monopoly 
there. Zaandam ships in 1640 fished in the open sea, 
apparently with success. In 1642 we read of blubber 
being brought home unboiled. That was presently to 
become the Dutch method. When the whales finally for- 
sook the bays there were plenty of men already trained to 
kill them out at sea. 

About this time (1640-45) an old Vlieland whaler named 
Ryke Yse, pursuing his business to the eastward, discovered 
the islands that still bear his name, where no ship had been 
before. "He found on them an incredible number of 
walruses and killed many hundred of them, so that, besides 
the blubber, he brought away an incredible wealth of tusks, 
and his owners sold them so well that they made a bigger 
profit than anyone ever heard of from such a voyage 3 ." It 
was really useless to renew the Noordsche Company's 

1 It is thus evident enough that in 1639 there was no scarcity of whales in 
Mauritius Bay. 

2 Zorgdrager, German edn. pp. 232-235. 

3 Zorgdrager, German edn. p. 200. 

Hamburger Bay 187 

privilege, which had become unpopular, was contrary to the 
spirit of the age, and was allowed to lapse. This was 
generally recognised, and so, as Aitzema says, " it dis- 
appeared into the wilderness and desert 1 ." 

Apparently it had been almost a dead letter for some 
time. Yet the Company were still urgent to keep com- 
petitors away from Smeerenburg, a proof that the fishery 
there remained valuable. But they were unable to keep 
any place to themselves. Over a hundred ships were 
in Mauritius Bay in a single season. In 1642 the Ham- 
burgers took part in the whaling industry for the first time. 
They settled at Hamburger Bay, just outside the Dutch 
limits. They would not have done so if the whales had 
altogether retreated from the bays. In the English area 
there seems to have been no diminution in the supply of 
whales, for the number of ships sent up had not been enough 
to frighten or materially reduce the whales that frequented 
the central and southern harbours. What was happening 
at the south-east we do not know. 

After the failure of Vrolicq's Company, no regular 
French company sent ships to Spitsbergen. The Dutch 
mainly supplied France with train-oil and whalebone. But 
in 1644 a new an d powerful whaling company was formed 
and chartered, with Mazarin himself for protector. He was 
paid a "gift " of 180,000 livres for his help ! The Company 
was bound to send out from 25 to 30 ships each season. 
The enterprise appears to have prospered for a time. The 
charter was renewed in 1669, but the Company's activity 
shortly thereafter ceased 2 . 

About 1644 Smeerenburg's decline had begun. The 
whales were in steady retreat and had to be followed along 
the north coast. In 1646 the season was only opened at 
Mauritius Bay. The fish were now flensed where they 
were killed. In the ice the " making off," that is to say the 
cutting up of the blubber into small pieces and stowing it in 
casks, was done on the spot ; but if the coast was near, the 
whales were flensed on shore. If the shore was not near 
enough for that, they were flensed at sea and the making off 

1 Saken van Staet, II. p. 808. 

2 See article by Dr E. T. Hamy in Bull, de geog. hist, et descript. Paris, 
1901, p. 34. 

CH. XV. 

1 88 Decline of Smeerenburg 

was done on shore. At first the "trying out" was done on 
shore as soon as possible. Now, probably, were built the 
number of small cookeries whose ruins and foundations may 
still be traced at different points along the north coast. 
Zorgdrager saw ruins on the Zeeland look-out, Biscayer's 
Hook, and many other points further east, apparently as far 
as North-east-land 1 . The number of whalebones that lie 
along the shores of Hinloojpen Strait and North-east-land 
are monuments of old Dutch flensing. 

Finally the whales forsook the coast altogether, and could 
be taken only at sea. Smeerenburg was still used for some 
years as a storing-place, but it ultimately became valueless 
even for that purpose, and then it sank to be a mere 
harbour of shelter for damaged ships requiring refitment, 
for which purpose we know from Martens that it was used 
in 1 67 i. Before that time, however, the furnaces had all 
been pulled down, the coppers taken away, the coolers 
destroyed, and the buildings emptied. It was a sign that 
the Dutch bay fishery was ended. " Trying out," as the 
boiling-down process was called, was now done at home in 
Holland. Cookeries were set up, especially in North 
Holland (at Oostsanan) and Rotterdam 2 . There was like- 
wise one at Hamburg. The train-oil was thus more care- 
fully made, and the by-products were saved. The fritters 
left after the first boiling were sold to other manufacturers, 
who made of them a second-rate oil and turned the final 
refuse into dog's meat and glue. Some Dutch ships per- 
haps boiled down their oil at sea, for in 1655 a derelict 
Dutch whaler from Spitsbergen was towed into Dartmouth, 
having on board a great copper vessel of 10 cwt. and oil in 
casks 3 . 

In 1 67 1, when Smeerenburg had been abandoned for 
some years as a place of industry, it was visited by Martens, 
who published in his journal a description of the site, illus- 
trated by engravings of his own sketches. The ship, on 
which he was surgeon, sailed into Fairhaven by the West 
Bay. "Then," he writes, "comes Smeerenburg (Plate 
C, k), where houses built by the Dutch are still standing. 
They are every year falling to ruin and being 

1 Zorgdrager, German edn. p. 210. 

2 Zorgdrager, p. 343 ; Martens (Hak. Soc. edn.), p. 131 ; J. Honig, Studien, 
p. 161. 

3 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1655, p. 324. 































Ruins of Smeerenburg 1 89 

burnt down. This year several houses were standing, like 
a village, and some of them were burnt. Over against 
Smeerenburg are other houses and one copper remaining. 
They call this place the Cookery of Harlingen. This year 
there were still four houses. Two were warehouses ; the 
other three (sic) were dwellings. The houses are built in 
this fashion, not very big, with a room and an attic in front 
and the house behind, fitted with a bedroom 1 . The ware- 
houses are somewhat larger. Many casks (Fasser oder 
Kardelen), quite sprung open, still lie in them. The ice 
stands in a true round of the exact shape of the casks. 
Anvil, smith's tools, and other implements belonging to the 
cookery, were frozen up in the ice. The coppers stood just 
as they were built, and the wooden coolers by them. 
Thence you can go (? by land) to the English haven. On 
the other side is a grave-yard where the dead are buried. 
The soil there is rather crushed, like earth ; it is only, how- 
ever, made flat with toil. Behind these houses (of the 
Harlingen Cookery) are high mountains. If a man climbs 
these or others, and does not mark the footsteps or rocks 
with chalk, he cannot tell how to come down again ; for 
though it seems easy to go up, to climb down again is so 
very dangerous that many fall and are killed. This bay is 
called the South Haven or bay, and if the ships suffer 
damage they are brought here to be repaired. In front in 
the South Haven, in the valley between the mountains, 

much fresh water" collects In the North Haven or 

bay is a great mountain or bay that is flat above. This 
island is named Vogelsang, because of the multitude of 
birds which settle on it ; when they fly up they cry so loud 
that one can scarcely hear for it.... 

" One night, in the clear sunshine, we went for a league 
along the rock-cliffs of the English haven, looking for a 
whale we had lost. In the middle of the haven others were 
rowing with the boats. They were scarcely visible. A 
great mass fell down from a mountain with a loud noise. 
The mountains were of a black colour marked with white 
veins [i.e. couloirs] of snow. It was so still that scarcely a 

1 " Mit einer Stuben und Boden, hinter ist das Hauss, so breit es ist, niit 
einer Kammer versehen." 

2 This fresh water was on Danes Island, in a valley in the north side. It is 
marked on several of the later charts, and is often referred to. 

CH. XV. 

1 90 Ruins of Smeerenburg 

breath of air could be felt, and it was not cold. The shore 
was full of walruses. Their bellowing was like the bellow- 
ing of oxen heard afar off." 

The question as to when Smeerenburg was abandoned 
is not without interest. Muller thought that it declined with 
great rapidity even before 1640, and that it was abandoned 
not long after that date. There are reasons for thinking 
that such was not the case. The fact that Martens saw an 
anvil, smith's tools, and valuable coppers still there, is proof 
of relatively recent frequentation. More important is it to 
observe that the first known local chart of the Smeerenburg 
bays was not published till 1655 (by Doncker), and that 
copies of it were reissued much later. The chart of 1655 
marks the sites of the cookeries as though then still in 
use. Moreover in the text accompanying Doncker's atlas 
Smeerenburg is referred to in terms that imply its being 
still in use. He writes of seeing the ships as you sail in 
from the north, and how you come first to the Amsterdam 
" tents," off which the ships ride, moored to the land. Then 
follow the tents of the Chambers of Middelburg and 
Flushing and others, but before the westerly " tents " a reef 
shoots out so that ships cannot there come close to the 
shore. Icebergs falling from the glaciers E.S.E. and E. 
by N. across the sound sometimes rock the ships before the 
Amsterdam "tents." Such information would hardly have 
been printed in 1655 if Smeerenburg had been deserted for 
a dozen years or more. The English bay fishery in Bell 
Sound did not become unprofitable till after 1655. 

About 20 years after Marten's visit, Zorgdrager was an 
active, if unlucky, whaling skipper, and paid frequent visits 
to Spitsbergen. He knew the site of Smeerenburg well, 
and records (p. 224, Germ, ed.) that in his time nothing 
remained but the foundations of houses and of eight or ten 
boilers. He was no longer able even to estimate how 
many buildings once stood upon the flat ground. Nature 
had repossessed her own, and the traces of man were 
rapidly disappearing. 

As late as 1773 Phipps records that the whalers used to 
resort to Fairhaven at the end of the fishing season. He 
mentions the ruins of Smeerenburg as still visible. In 1784 
another visitor records that nothing but foundations were 
left. Traces .of them can still be seen to-day. 



With the abandonment of the Noordsche Company's 
monopoly in 1642 the Dutch whaling industry took a rapid 
and great development. New and better ships were built 
for the trade ; 300 ships sailed yearly to the fishing, 
giving employment to no less than 18,000 hands. For 
130 years, from 1642 to about 1770, the trade throve 
and brought immense wealth to Holland. But it no longer 
concerns us, for it was not a Spitsbergen trade. The fleet 
often, as we shall see, used a Spitsbergen harbour to 
assemble at before their return home, but Spitsbergen 
ceased to be the base of the fishery. The English whalers 
apparently took no part in the sea fishery. Whales kept 
coming into their bays and that sufficed. They went to 
the eastward no doubt towards the end of the season, and 
if home conditions had been favourable they would have 
proved as enterprising as their Dutch rivals. But home 
conditions were not favourable. The Civil War upset 
everything. As Elking says, "it interrupted and dis- 
couraged the merchants in this, as in all their trades, so 
that this Fishery hath been lost to them ever since, some 
particular attempts to retrieve it excepted." It was not till 
after 1770 when Dutch whaling declined, that the industry 
took root again in England, and a period of great pro- 
sperity followed ; but that is a story that does not concern 
us here. 

In 1643 ^ was no longer the Privy Council to whom the 
quarrelling whalers appealed but the House of Commons, 
whose Journals thenceforward contain many references to 


192 Petitions to Parliament 

the industry. Thus on April nth the merchants of Yar- 
mouth petitioned the House, and their petition was referred 
to the Committee for the Navy. They heard the case, 
Merchants of Yarmouth v. the Greenland Co. of London, 
ten days later, both parties being represented by counsel. 
Witnesses were called on both sides. Evidence given by 
the Hull whaler, Thomas Anderson, contains historical 
information about the doings of the early whalers sailing 
from that port which has been quoted above. The Hull 
men boldly claimed right of access to the Spitsbergen 
fisheries on the ground of Marmaduke's discoveries. The 
Committee decided that the Yarmouth ships might go 
to Spitsbergen this year, but must not injure the London 
Company's rights 1 . 

This was a merely temporary decision which settled 
nothing. In 1645 the matter came again before the Com- 
mittee for the Navy. Parliament, doubtless acting on its 
advice, gave notice by their burgesses to all ports through- 
out England that all who desired should within three 
months signify their intention of taking part in the trade. 
Those who did so should join the London Company in 
guarding the Spitsbergen harbours against foreigners, and 
should give an undertaking to Parliament to set out yearly 
a definite proportion of ships. York, Hull, and Yarmouth 
were the only towns that responded, and thenceforward 
they seem to have acted in concert with the Londoners. It 
is stated that the harbours occupied and defended were 
Horn Sound, Bell Sound, Green Harbour, Cross Road, 
Mettle Bay (perhaps King's Bay), and Sir Thomas Smith 
Bay. It was decided at the same time that Bell Sound 
(probably Recherche Bay only, not Bottle Cove) and Horn 
Sound were to be reserved exclusively for the Greenland 
Company 2 . 

Next year, 1646, was signalized in the north by another 
terrible tragedy. In the month of June a Dutch whaler 
sighted an ice-floe off the west coast of Spitsbergen, which 
seemed to have something peculiar on it. Sailing nearer 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Charles I, Vol. 497 (1643), No. 68; House of 
Commons Joiirnal, III. 39. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1653-54, pp. 419, 420; State Papers, 
Domestic, Interreg., Vol. 179 (1658), No. 11. 

English J Hi a Hug Disputes 193 

they found it to be a man waving a rope as signal of 
distress. He was one of five Englishmen afloat on the 
floe, four of whom were still living and one dead. They 
had cut out a cave in the ice and piled lumps of ice 
round the hole for shelter, and there they had miserably 
spent fourteen days. Originally there had been 42 of them, 
the crew of an English ship, wrecked in the ice on their 
way to the fishery. They had escaped from the wreck with 
one boat. The captain and 17 men rowed away in this 
boat in a gale, intending to go ashore and return for the 
others, but nothing more was ever heard of them, and they 
doubtless went down in the storm. The 24 men left behind 
finished their provisions and separated on to various pieces 
ot ice, in hopes that some might reach the shore. This 
group had lived for several days by chewing a leather belt. 
After being brought aboard the Dutch ship three of the sur- 
vivors died from the effects of exposure. Only one man 
was taken back to Delft and returned to England. The 
others were never more heard of 1 . 

For the next year or two we hear nothing except a 
complaint that Thos. North has been fishing in one of the 
Greenland Company's harbours, and a resolution of the 
Parliamentary Committee for Trade confirming- the reserva- 
tion of Bell Sound and Horn Sound to the Company. 

In 1652 the regulation of the whale-fishery was again 
considered by the Council of State 2 , who wisely concluded 
to leave the matter to law or Parliament to decide " when 
their weighty affairs permit them to consider it." Meantime 
the parties were recommended to avoid occasions of inter- 
rupting one another, and they should go up strong for 
defence against strangers and help one another in case of 
need. Letters of "private men-of-war" were granted to 
the Company's ships, seeing that war with the Dutch was 
expected. Finally during the season the Company received 
special permission to send a ketch to Spitsbergen to warn 
the whalers of the state of affairs. The 12 men in her 
were to have protection against pressing. 

Taking advantage of the " Mutacions of Government " 
and of the encumberment of the legislature by "weighty 

1 Churchill, u. 429. 
Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1651-52, pp. 177, 343, 344, 570. 

C. CH. XVI. y 

194 War Risks 

affairs," Warner, Whitwell, and other "free adventurers" 
sent up in 1652 "a small Pinke of 50 or 60 tun," and after- 
ward "a shipp and a small Vessell intrudeing into the 
harbours formerly kept and frequented by the Company and 
them of Hull and Yarmouth, and refusinge to come in with 
them in consorteshipp and to joyne offensive and defensive 
to keepe the Dutch and French out of those Harbours." 
Worse still they impudently brought in Dutchmen and other 
strangers to manage their stock and adventure 1 . 

To these internal troubles the uncertainties and alarms 
of European war were now added. The Dutch having 
neither men nor men-of-war to spare for protection of the 
whalers, the whale-fishery was suspended for the season of 
1653; but the English went up as usual. The Peace of 
London, on her way to Spitsbergen, belied her name and 
captured a small vessel of Rotterdam, which she brought 
into Newcastle. Then she sailed on to the fishing and 
killed three whales before the other whalers arrived — a 
smart piece of work 2 . Two other ships, the Lotrisa and the 
Hunter, on their way from Spitsbergen to Havre, were 
taken by some Parliament ships and carried into Yarmouth, 
and divers French mariners taken out of them were sent 
with other Dutch prisoners to Chelsea College, but were 
ordered to be discharged. It afterwards appearing that the 
two ships themselves had had special passes from the 
Council of State for the said voyage, they also were let go 
after a month's detention. Shortly afterwards, when there 
was talk of making peace with the Dutch, the Muscovy 
Company cropped up with a petition that payment of that 
,£22,000 which they had been trying to get ever since 
1618 should be stipulated for in the treaty ; but they never 
got it. 

While the peoples of Western Europe were falling out, 
Denmark, in a quiet way, took a notable step in the north, 
for the King in 1653 sent out what may be called the first 
scientific Arctic expedition. He despatched three ships to 
explore the polar ocean and to make observations as to the 
products and characters of lands and seas. These ships 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Interreg., Vol. 66 (Feb. 1654), No. 66. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1644, p. 15. 

The Free Adventurers 195 

visited Novaja Zemlja and then sailed to Spitsbergen'. 
Possibly some account of their doings may still exist in the 
archives of Copenhagen. More information about early 
Danish Arctic expeditions is much wanted. Some patriotic 
Dane may find this subject worth investigation. 

In 1654 a strong effort was made to put an end to the 
whalers' disputes in Spitsbergen. We possess very full 
accounts of the proceedings, which throw a welcome light 
on the method of the bay-fishery as then pursued. Francis 
Ashe, Governor of the Greenland Company, set the ball 
rolling by appealing to Cromwell to make regulations for 
the trade, so that rival interests should not clash in single 
harbours and that more harbours should be fished. A 
Committee of the Council of State was appointed to investi- 
gate the question. Thereupon seventeen free adventurers 2 
began a vigorous agitation. They not only appeared before 
the Committee, but they issued a printed broadside, a public 
protest addressed "to Parliament and every member 
thereof," intended to affect public opinion in their favour. 
From this and other statements we find that contemporary 
politics were imported into the dispute. " We conceive the 
right," say the free-traders, "which such as seeke to in- 
grosse the trade and harbours to themselves, pretend to 
have, is onely grounded upon a monopolizing pattent : which 
came from prerogative power, and (is) not consistent with 
the freedome of a Commonwealth and the members 
thereof. In the late King's time the Company used all 
unjust, illegal, and arbitrary means possible to suppress all 
but themselves 3 ." 

The free-traders claimed that the bays which the Green- 
land Company wanted to keep to itself — Horn Sound, Bell 
Sound, and Green Harbour (Ice Sound) — were the only 
certain bays for whaling, other harbours being frequently 
inaccessible by reason of ice. " No man will adventure 
upon such uncertainty. So, in that the Companies desire the 
Harbour of Bell Sound, they desire the whole fishing to 
themselves." They claimed that there was room for all in 

1 Zorgdrager, German edn. pp. 12, 13. 

2 One of them was Launcelot Anderson, the Hull Captain who relieved the 
winterers of 1630-31. 

3 State Papers, Domestic, Interreg., Vol. 65 (Jan. 1654), Nos. 67, 69. 

CH. xvi. 13 — 2 

196 The Habits of the Whales 

Bell Sound, even for the 1,100 tons of shipping they were 
intending- to send up this season. 

In their reply the Greenland Company relate that 
where several interests fish in one bay there are sure to be 
quarrels. Thus last year "a whale being struck by those 
employed by the Company, divers of the contrary parties 
struck in their irons into the same whale and occasioned 
a controversy which rose to a very great height, and neere 
unto bloodshed, had it not been prevented by a third party. 
Yet nevertheless the contest continued so long that the loss 
of the whale was much endangered, being neere driven into 
the Seas, which occasioned 30 hours labour to our people 
to save her and hath now occasioned a suit in La we." 

Incidentally we receive some unique information as to 
the behaviour of the whales at that time. It appears that 
they came into the sounds in shoals of from 200 to 300, 
" to gender, feed, and rubb themselves," and having arrived 
would stay in a harbour for many days together. Such a 
shoal consisted of a number of families which swam about 
"ordinarily 2 or 3 or 4 together, one of which being strucke, 
the others disperse themselves great distances some one 
way some another," but it seems that whales not belonging 
to the group of the one stricken paid little attention. " Soe 
that when one Interest is onely there, they can take or 
pursue such as are most likely to goe first out, and to follow 
the rest at leisure ; whereas if there be divers interests, 
each party disturbs the fish wheresoever it appeares, having 
onely respect to their owne profitt, and soe suddanily scares 
or drives away the whales." We learn moreover that in 
Bell Sound the whales only frequented the broad part and 
did not (in any quantity) " goe up the branch bays ; soe that 
30 or 40 shallopps well man'd is sufficient to fish that 
harbour, if not disturbed by others, and may kill as many 
whales as if there were doble the nomber of boats." The 
Greenland Company state that during five years they made 
with three ships 500 tons of oil each year in Bell Sound 
alone ; but that when the interlopers came there, double 
the number of ships made only half that amount of oil, so 
that the price of oil has risen from £\% to £$0 per ton, and 
the price of whalebone from £ 1 to £S per cwt. 

The best harbours, we learn, did not yield a profit 

The Company s Claims 197 

every year. The profit came from an extraordinarily good 
year, which could only be expected once out of three to five 
years. Then, many shoals of whales coming in, the whalers 
might make as much as 400 tons of oil and whalebone 
more than they could carry home. The overplus was left 
in the storehouses and brought home afterwards as there 
was room for it in the ships. The free-traders claim that 
the)' possessed in Spitsbergen a warehouse even larger than 
the Greenland Company's, which we know to have been 
80 ft. long by 50 ft. wide. They also had many hundreds 
of tons of casks stored there. Unfortunately we are with- 
out any information as to the position of this great ware- 

Two points were specially urged on behalf of the 
Company, and both were reasonable. The first was that if 
the free-traders were allowed to sail, the fishery should be 
regulated and each interest should be allotted to a special 
bay or bays. In case all bays were open to all comers, 
there would be a race for harbours : ships would start 
unnecessarily early, and money would be wasted. No one 
would keep in Spitsbergen " stone houses, or hang his 
coppers, or make other durable provision and accommoda- 
tion for lodging their men." There would be a rush for 
Bell Sound (proof that this was certainly the best whaling 
bay) and the " rest of the continent " being neglected would 
fall to the Dutch and French. There were 40 or 50 har- 
bours that the Company had discovered, " and the Contynent 
lyes yet further both wayes." Finally the Company say 
that they still send a pinnace yearly on exploration, as we. 
know them to have done from the first. With so much 
exploration it is wonderful that the English charts of Spits- 
bergen were so bad. Probably the Company kept their 
discoveries strictly secret. It is possible that some in- 
formation about these unrecorded voyages may yet come 
to light, if it is looked for. 

The other important consideration urged was the 
necessity for common action to keep the French and Dutch 
from coming and fishing in their harbours. The prominence 
thus given to the French is to be noticed, for little is known 
about the French whale-fishery in Spitsbergen waters. The 
importance of the operations of Mazarin's Company, formed 


198 Proposed Regulations 

in 1644, can be inferred from this reference. The 'Dutch 
and French, say the Company, fish in numerous fleets at 
sea, " and by plying neere the mouth 'of the harbours breake 
and beat the scoales of whales." The Company were in 
the habit of sending up well-armed ships of force, one at 
least to each harbour, which lay " ready in a warlike posture 
to defend the rest from surprize, whylest the others turne 
the whayle." It is implied that the free-traders had no 
right to avail themselves of this protection without con- 
tributing to it. 

The Company conclude with the statement that 
"foreigners vend their worst and foulest oil (being for the 
most part blubber oil and very ill sented) in this Common- 
wealth." By blubber oil they presumably mean oil made 
from blubber brought home to be boiled instead of being 
boiled when fresh, which gave better results. 

It must have been a foregone conclusion that Parlia- 
ment would not exclude the free-traders from the fishery ; 
and thus the committee seem to have decided at their first 
meeting. The real question to be settled was under what 
regulations the fishery should be carried on. Various pro- 
posals were made by the contending parties. The free- 
traders wanted all harbours to be open to all, the first 
comers to have choice of place, but no more than a fixed 
number of shallops to be allowed in each harbour. The 
old partners were of course against this. Horth said that 
Bottle Cove and "the Rock in Bell Sound" (Axel Island) 
had been his stations for 26 years, and he had a right to 
them. Finally the following scheme was drawn up 1 : 

2 Where the London ships used to 

Bell Sound «o be fished by 5 ships . , J* ^^xe.^'nd), 

I i at Bottle Cove. 
Horn Sound to be fished by 3 ships . M * Ham Sound, 

1 at Mettle Bay. 
Green Harbour (Ice Sound) to be f 
fished by 2 ships. { 

Cross Road and Sir Thomas Smith f 1 ship to lay in harbour and a pinnace 
Bay to be fished by 2 ships . \ to ply to and fro or fish at sea. 

In all 12 ships, of a total tonnage 3,000 tons, to set out 

1 State Papers, Domestic, Interreg., Vol. 66 (Feb. 1654), Nos. 66, 67, 68, 69, 
70. See Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1653—54, pp. 392, 419, 420, 421. 

Proposed Regulations 199 

12 shallops, with 420 seamen, and 160 landmen. At Bell 
Sound 250 men, at Horn Sound 140 men, at Green Harbour 
1 10 men, and at Cross Road and Sir Thomas Smith Bay 
80 men. This suggested distribution enables us for the 
first time to estimate the relative importance of the bays. 

It was further suggested that the 3,000 tons of shipping 
should be supplied in the following proportions : 

The London Company ........ 1,600 tons. 

Hull and York 400 „ 

Horth for Yarmouth ........ 500 ,, 

Mr Whitwell and partners ....... 300 „ 

Mr Battson and partners (including L. Anderson) . . 200 „ 

It was further suggested that any English ship taking 
whales at sea should be allowed to come into any harbour 
to boil his oil, provided that he did not fish nor make a 
disturbance there. A committee representing the various 
interests was to be appointed, and names were suggested. 
Objections were urged and counter-propositions put forward 
during the month of March. The season was approaching, 
and still the regulations were incomplete. Finally the old 
London and Hull adventurers petitioned that, as the trade 
could not be regulated in time this year, they might go up 
with six ships and a pinnace on their own accounts, and 
that their men might be free of impress. They sent in 
a first list of 12 harpooners for York and Hull and 50 
seamen, masters, and carpenters. Their petition was at 
once Granted. 

In April an ordinance for regulating the fishery was 
published, whereby a committee of 24 was appointed to 
make all arrangements according to the general regulations 
already published 1 . Two men-of-war were likewise assigned 
to protect the whalers. It is to be presumed that after all 
this fuss the fleet of six ships and a pinnace ultimately 
sailed. It was a small thing compared with the yo sail of 
Hollanders escorted by three men-of-war under the com- 
mand of Rear-Admiral De Witt, that the English admiral 
saw sailing for the fishery on the 10th of May. He did 
not venture to attack them, but one or two stragglers were 
picked up during the spring, and at least two French 
whalers were captured on their way home, laden with oil. 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1654, pp. 136, 176, 430. 


200 A Glacier Adventure 

It is clear that the Dutch were more enterprising in the 
north than the English. When the whales forsook the 
Dutch bays, the ships were obliged to give up the trade or 
take to the open sea. They chose the latter alternative. 
The English bays were still frequented by whales, so the 
English stuck to them and did not learn the craft of sea- 
fishing, in which the Dutch became more and more expert. 
At present, in the fifties there were plenty of whales along 
the shore of Spitsbergen, and there the Dutch and French 
killed them. Each year made them more expert, and each 
year diminished the supply of whales that reached the 
English bays. They were killed or dispersed at sea before 
reaching the bays. Thus the English fisheries were doomed, 
and the English whalers were making no preparation to 
iace the new conditions that must before long either termi- 
nate or revolutionise their industry. The Dutch no doubt 
still often landed on the Spitsbergen coasts, but they no 
longer boiled down their oil there. They landed merely 
to hunt reindeer, or, when there were no whales about, for 
a mere change of scene. 

Thus in this year, 1654, we read that Captain Ouwe 
Kees went ashore with one of his lads and walked for three 
hours up one of the largest of the so-called Seven Icebergs 
or glaciers. They estimated that they went a fourth part 
of the way up the glacier, a distance of more than a Dutch 
mile. It must be remembered that these glaciers have a 
very gentle slope and are rough and crevassed, so that the 
yarn which follows cannot be literally true. It runs thus : 
When they had gone as far as they cared, Kees said to his 
fellow, " I am going back, but I have thought of an easier 
way to go than walking. I shall just let myself slide." And 
so he did, and travelled at such a pace that everything 
shimmered before his eyes and he became like a blind man. 
Not liking the sensation, he presently stopped himself by 
sticking his heels into the snow. Meanwhile Bommel, 
seeing how quickly and easily the captain seemed to be 
going, sat down and followed him in the same way. Un- 
conscious of any danger he let himself go ; waving his 
handkerchief over his head he called out, " I am passing 
you, captain." Thus continuing to glissade, he shot at last 
over the end of the glacier, plump into the sea, falling quite 

Old Kees' Glissade, from P.P.v.S. 

Decline of English Whaling 201 

double the height of the west tower of Amsterdam. The 
captain, having with great difficulty stopped himself, was 
glad to find an easier way where he could use his feet to go 
on. He did not know where his companion had fallen or 
flown to. On coming to his sloop he asked his men if they 
had seen anything of Bommel. They said " No." " Then," 
said he, " he has broken his neck. But come, let us row 
along by the foot of the ice and see if we can find him." Their 
search was in vain, and they were about to sail away from 
the place, assured that he was dead, when they heard him 
calling to them, " Here I am, here I am." He was sitting 
down below the foot of the glacier-cliff, having swum ashore 
and scrambled along, and being little the worse for his ad- 
venture. The real fact, I suppose, was that they indulged 
in a sitting glissade down a hard frozen snow slope, ending 
above the sea near one of the Seven Glaciers. 

In his atlas of 1655 Doncker of Amsterdam states with 
respect to Horn Sound that there "the English generally 
have their Tents standing for their Fishing Trade ; the 
whole land being indeed under the propriety of the English" 
(Seller's translation, 167 1 ). But from this year the Eng- 
lish whaling industry seems to have declined steadily. The 
adventurers kept losing money and were greatly discouraged. 
Moreover the cost of defence in those troubled times was 
considerable. " In their whale-fishing," the Committee say, 
"they often meet with French ships who would take them 
prize if they were not strong 1 ." No less than 60 sail of 
Frenchmen were on the Spitsbergen coast in 1655, and 50 
ol them made great voyages. The Dutch whalers were 
doubtless still more numerous. The only whales the Eng- 
lish could get were those that had already run the gauntlet 
through this fleet of enemies. Attempts were made by British 
men-of-war to waylay these ships on their homeward way. 
Captain Potter reports having chased for six hours and 
fought for four with a Frenchman of 24 guns, returning from 
Spitsbergen. She fought very stoutly. A violent storm came 
on and the Englishman had to look to his own leaks, "having 
received some unhappy shots under water as well as above." 
He thus lost sight of his foe and believed she sank'. 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1655, p. 96. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1655, p. 525. 


202 Adventure Bay 

The English fleet in 1656 consisted of very few ships, 
perhaps six in all. One was Whitwell's Adventure. It is 
known that Ice Sound was Whitwell's station. Probably 
Adventure Bay was named from this ship. Of late years 
the name has been misunderstood and changed into Advent 
Bay. It was proposed to the Admiralty that four or five 
good frigates should ply off Cape Clear at a suitable season 
to prey upon the Biscay fleet of Spitsbergen whalers " who 
are generally many and make good voyages," but as no 
captures are recorded the advice was probably not taken. 

In 1657 at least five English ships went up. But the 
adventurers seem to have had little hopes of much success. 
Dutch oil came freely into England, the Customs officers 
being bribed to let it pass ; and the London traders could 
not sell their own stuff. In 1658 the London Company 
were still urgent that the Government should help them to 
keep outsiders from coming into Bell Sound. They sent in 
an important but unfortunately inaccurate list of 2 1 Spits- 
bergen harbours, to show that there was room enough else- 
where for other interests 1 . 

1 Printed at the end of this volume. 




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The Dutch fishery was suspended in 1659. Of the 
English we hear nothing-. Henceforward it is the rarest 
thing to find mention of English whalers in our State- 
papers. Yet it is probable that the fishery dragged on, for 
in Macpherson's Annals of Commerce (11. p. 544) it is re- 
corded that in 1668 no English whalers went out, and in 
1669 only one ship. When the Royal Society of London 
was founded, one of the first subjects to which it devoted 
its rather rudimentary enquiries was Spitsbergen and the 
whaling there. In 1662 it published a series of " Enquiries 
for such as goe to Greenland, by Mr Hoskins 1 ." It is clear 
therefore that some English ships still frequented the 
Greenland {i.e. Spitsbergen) fishery. Such answers as 
were received came, I believe, from Hull whalers. Those 
preserved were supplied by Captain Lancelott Anderson 
and Mr Grey 2 . Grey's notes are here reprinted with some 
of the slight but spirited illustrations that accompany them. 
They prove that to the last the fishery in Bell Sound was 
pursued in the old-fashioned way, long ago given up by the 
Dutch and French. The account is entitled " The manner 
of the Whale-fishing in Greenland Given by Mr Gray to 
Mr Oldenburg for the Society 3 ." 

" We have according to the bignesse or smalnesse of 
our ships, the more or fewer Boates ; a ship of 200 tuns, 
may man six boats ; A vessel of 80 or 100 tuns, 4 boats ; 
A Vessel of 60 tuns, 3 boats or more, not lesse ; 3 boats 

1 For these and other enquiries, see Philosophical Transactions, II. p. 554. 

2 They are printed in the Geographical Journal Tor June, 1900, pp. 628-636. 

3 Register Book of the R. S. Vol. II. (1662-3), P- 3° 8 - 


204 English Whaling Methods 

being as few as may be with convenience to kill a whale. 
Each boat hath 6 men ; A Harpeneir, Steersman, and four 
Oars ; to which men the merchant giveth, (besides their 
wages) for every 13 tuns of Oyle (which we call a Whale) 
when there is so much for each boate, to the Harpenier 
6/i. 10s., the Steersman 3/2'., and to each Oar 30.?., in all for 
each boat 15/z. iar., which we call whale-money. 

"We have several men and boats upon several convenient 
places, which we call Look-outs 1 , that constantly remain 
looking out by turnes for the Whale, which when we fish in 
Harbour, cometh into a smooth Bay, where is a good 
Harbour for our ships : And having discovered the Whale, 
which swimmeth with her back above the water, or is 
descried by the water which she bloweth into the Air, one 
Lookout maketh signes to another, by hoysing up a basket 
upon a Pole, and then all the boats row after her, and 
having opportunity to row up with her, before she goeth 
down, strike a Harping-iron into her, to which is a staffe 
joyned being about 6 foot long, called a harping- staffe, to 
the Socket of which Iron is a white rope, with an eye 
seazed very fast : This Rope is about 5 fathoms long, which 
Lying upon the forepart of the Boat (which we call a 
Shallop) always coyled over a little pin, ready to take up, 
to give scope to the Iron, when it is thrown at the Whale ; 
and to this hand-rope is a warpe of 300 fathoms seazed, to 
veer after the whale, lest, when she is struck, by her swift 
motion (which is often down to the ground, where the water 
is 60, 70, or 80 fathom deep) she should sink the boat. 

"Thus having gotten our Iron into her, our boats row 
where they think she will rise (after she hath been beating 
her selfe at ground) and get 2 or 3 more irons into her, and 
then we account her secure. Then when she is neer tired 
with striving and wearied with the boats and ropes, we 
lance her with long Lances, the Irons and stands wereof are 
about 12 or 14 foot long, with which we prick her to death ; 
and in killing her, many times she staveth some of our 
boats, beating and flourishing with her tayle above water, 
that the boats dare scarce come nigh her, but oftentimes in 
an hours time she is dispatched. 

1 Hence the various points named Lookout, or Uytkyk, on the older Spits- 
bergen maps. 



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The English Whale-fishery in Bell Sound, from contemporary drawings 
to illustrate Mr Gray's description. 

English IVhaling Methods 205 

"Thus having killed her. our boats tow her (all of them 
rowing one before another, one fast to another like a team 
of Horses) to the ship's stern, where, after she hath layn 
24 hours we cut off the Blubber, and take the finns (which 
we commonly call the whalebone) and her tongue out of 
her mouth, and with a great pair of slings and tackle, we 
turn her round, and take all that is good off her, and then 
we turn her carcass adrift and tow the blubber (cut in pieces) 
to the shore where works stand to mannure (sic) it. 

"Having made fast the blubber to the shore, we have 
a Waterside-man who stands in a pair of boots, to the 
middle leg in water, and flaweth such flesh as is not clean 
cut from the blubber : Then we have two men with a 
Barrow 1 , that when the YVatersideman hath cut it in pieces 
about two hundred weight, carry it up to a stage standing 
by our Works, like a Table ; then we have a man with 
a lone knife, who we call a Stagc-cuttcr. who sliceth it into 
thin pieces about halfe an inch thick, and a toot long or 
longer, and throws it into a Cooler, we call a slicing-cooler, 
betwixt which and another Cooler (called a Chopping-coolcr) 
we have men we call choppers placed ; live or six men. who 
upon blocks cut about a foot and halfe square (made of the 
tayle of the Whale, which is very tough) do take the sliced 
blubber and chop it very small and thin, not above a quarter 
of an inch thick, and an inch or two long ; and thrust it oft 
from the blocks into the Chopping-Cooler, which holds two 
or three tuns : Then upon a Plat-forme is built a Copper- 
hole, about 4 foot high, to which there is a stokehole, and 
on this Copperhole is a broad Copper, which containeth 
about a Butt, hanged with Mortar and made tight round 
the edges. And over the Stokehole, upon an Arch, stands 
a Chimney, which draws up the smoke and flame. And we 
have one we call a Tubflller, who with a Ladle of Copper, 
whose handle is about 6 foot long, taketh the Chopt blubber 
out of the chopping-cooler and puts it into a hogshead made 
with strapps for that purpose, and he drawes this hogshead 
from the chopping-cooler's-side to the Copper and putteth it 
in ; under which having once kindled a fire of wood and 
boyled a Copper or two of Oyle, the scruffe which remains 

1 .V<>/ a wheelbarrow ; vide illustration. 
CH. XV 11. 

206 Trying out 

after the Oyle is boyled out of the blubber (which we call 
Fritters) we throw under the Copper, which makes a feirce 
fire, and so boyleth the Oyle out of the blubber without any 
other fewell. 

"Then when we find that it is boyled enough, we have 
two men which we call coppermen who with two long- 
handled copper ladles take both oyle and fritters out of the 
Copper, about halfe, and put it into a Barrow (we call a 
Fritter-barrow) made with two handles and barrell-boards 
set about halfe a-quarter of an inch one from the other, 
through which the oyle runneth and the Fritters remain ; 
from which the Oyle being drained whilst another Coper of 
Oyle boyles, they are cast into the Stokehole and burnt, 
and the barrow stands ready again on the first Oyle-Cooler, 
to receive what is taken out of the next Copper. Out of 
this barrow the Oyle runs into a great thing we call a Cooler 
made of Deal-boards, containing about five tuns, which is 
filled within an inch of a hole (made in the side for the Oyle 
to run into the next spout) with water to cool the Oyle, and 
so the Oyle runs upon the water, through this hole into 
a spout about 10 or 12 foot long, into another cooler filled 
as aforesaid and out of that, through a long spout into a 
third filled as aforesaid and out of that, in a long spout into 
a Butt laid under the end of this spout, which being full, the 
hole of the Cooler, next the Butt is stopt till another Butt 
is laid under, and then the plugg being taken out, it filleth 
another, till we have done boyling : Then we fill up our 
Oyles, when they are thoroughly cold, and marke them and 
roule them into the water, rafting 20 together, and so tow 
them aboard, hoyst them into our ships, and stow them to 
bring them home. 

"And for our Finns, which grow in two Gumms in the 
whales mouth (whereof in a whales mouth, great and small 
are about 600, 460 whereof being merchandable) we cut 
them one by one out of the gumms and having rubb'd them 
clean we bind them up 60 in a bundle, and so taking account 
of them ship them aboard in our Long-boat. 

"Upon the shoar we have a Tent for our Land-men, 
built of stone, and covered with Deals, and Cabbins made 
therein for our Blubber-men to lodge ; And we have a 
great Working-tent with a Lodging-room over it, where, 

Better Charts 207 

about 6 Coopers work, to get ready Cask to put the Oyle 

The only English reference I have been able to find to 
the year 1663 is a warrant, issued to Robert Child and 
William Bowles, to make needful provision for such deer 
as might be brought alive by them from Spitsbergen 1 . 
Whether any arrived is not recorded, but the warrant 
implies that an English ship was intended for the fishery. 
This year is however noteworthy in the Dutch Spitsbergen 
annals, not for any new discovery, but for the first record of 
a group of discoveries. Up to 1662 no chart (so far as 
I have been able to discover) depicted the east coasts of 
Barentsz and Edge Islands, or marked Hinloopen Strait 
and the islands farther east, excepting, of course, the Mus- 
covy Company's map, published in 1625 by Purchas, which 
tentatively marked the south point of North-east-land. It 
is recorded that the Ryk Yse Islands were discovered about 
1640-45, but until this year, 1663, they were not inscribed 
on any chart. This year, however, Hendrick Doncker, of 
Amsterdam, issued a new chart of Spitsbergen in many 
respects far better than any that had gone before. In it 
he not only clearly showed Liefde and Wijde Bays, giving 
to the latter its full extension and marking a great glacier 
at the head of it, but he plainly marked the "Straet van 
Hindeloopen " and beyond it a piece of North-east-land 
including " Brandewijns baij." Further on he also marked 
the Seven Islands. He was vaguely informed about North- 
east-land and only ventured to indicate it as a number of 
small islands, nor was this inaccuracy corrected till after 
Giles' voyage of 1707. The west shore of Hinloopen 
Strait he marked decidedly, introducing the later-named 
Treurenberg Bay under its earlier designation Beere Bay, 
and likewise marking the east mouth of Heley's Sound by 
the name " 't Schip d' Eenhoorn baij,'' perhaps after the 
ship which discovered it. He names the hill immediately 
south of it Lommeberg. The modern Lomme Bay, whose 
entrance might be easily missed in a fog, is not marked at 
all, and the result was some confusion in nomenclature at 
a later date. 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1663-64, April 9. 


208 The Bad Season of 1665 

Still more noteworthy is the representation of Edge 
Island, now clearly shown with the " Ryck Ysse Eylanden" 
off its east cape. Two anchorages are marked on its east 
coast. They, like the anchorage off Whales Head and 
another off one of the Thousand Islands, undoubtedly repre- 
sent whaling centres. There are ruins of Dutch cookeries 
still existing not far from Whales Head, and Lamont noticed 
others on Ziegler Island, which must therefore be the place 
indicated by the last-mentioned anchor. Anchorages are 
also marked off Hope Island. Here then we have almost 
the only exact record of the Dutch fishery in the south-east. 
We know it to have been extensively carried on. We may 
perhaps conclude that it was in full swing about or shortly 
before 1663, the year in which this important chart was 

In 1665 and the two following seasons the whaling 
voyage was prohibited by the Dutch Government, on 
account of the war 1 ; but the French continued to venture 
forth and several of their ships were captured by English 
and Scotch privateers 2 . In 1668 the Dutch whaling fleet 
went up again and had bad luck, for 1 7 ships were wrecked. 
That was the most icy season on record. The ice-pack 
came down so far south that no ship could pass north of 
the Foreland. The wrecked ships must have been destroyed 
in consequence of these unusual conditions. As a result of 
the small import of train-oil into Holland, the price of rape- 
seed rose fast and it was briskly exported from Hull*. The 
price of rape-seed at this period was a measure of the 
prosperity of the whaling industry. In a good whaling year 
rape-seed was almost unsaleable. In a bad year it was in 
great demand. 

A certain P. P. v. S., who published a volume of Dutch 
whalers' yarns 4 , records a great bear-fight which the crew 
of the ship Hope of Whales had in this year, 1668. The 

1 Scoresby, Arctic Regions, n. 55. 

2 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1666-67, pp. 109, 136; and 1667, 
pp. 71, 389, 413, 506, 509. 

3 R. Geog. Soc. Proceed, ix. p. 173; Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 
1667-68, p. 544 ; and 1668-69, p. 17. 

4 P. P. v. S. "De seldsaame en noit gehoorde Wal-visvangst, etc." 2nd edn. 
Leiden, 1684, 4to. There is a copy in the Royal Library at the Hague (W. 5895); 
and one in the British Museum. Many of the stories are incorporated bodily by 
Zorgdrager, without acknowledgment, in his Part 3, Chap. XI. 





















The Man under the Bear 209 

ship was lying; in the ice and the crew were engaged in 
flensing some whales. They had retired for a few hours' 
sleep when the bear appeared on the floe. A couple of boats 
put off after him, Captain Jonge Kees being in the first. 
The bear took to the water and the captain coming up with 
him struck him fairly with his lance so deep and well- 
planted a wound that they thought he must immediately 
die. Not to spoil the skin they refrained from striking him 
again. The bear, however, swam about and then climbed 
on to a piece of ice where he lay with his head on his paws 
like a cat watching a mouse. The captain, therefore, to 
give him his coup de grace sprang on to the ice alone 
with a throwing-lance in his hand. Suddenly the bear, 
with one leap of 24 feet, was upon him and had overthrown 
him and knocked the lance far away. With his feet upon 
the man's breast the bear was about to tear him to pieces. 
The men in the boat yelled but they appear to have been 
unarmed. One of them, however, seized a boat-hook and 
rushed to help his Captain, and the other boat approaching 
at the same moment the bear took to flight. He ran to the 
edge of the ice so close to one of the boats that they could 
have reached him with a lance, but the Captain shouted to 
them not to thrust, fearing that the bear would leap into the 
boat and kill some men. They threw a lump of wood at 
him, which missed, and the bear ran after it like a dog after 
a bone, growling horribly. Then eight men got on to the 
ice and went for him. As they advanced he slowly gave 
way, showing his teeth at them. Then the Captain threw 
a lance at him and again missed. The bear stood over it as 
though daring anyone to come and get it. They pursued 
him from one piece of ice to another, a snow-storm raging 
all the time. At last the brave beast's strength failed and 
he laid down and died. 

This bear story had a more remarkable success than 
almost any sporting tale known to fame. It even survives 
till the present day, not only in print but in an oral 
form, and I have been told it by one of Jonge Kees' 
descendants, Mr G. J. Honig of Zaandijk. Jonge Kees, 
it appears, was the younger brother of Old Kees, of whom 
we shall have more to say presently. He lived at Zaandam 
and was a very prosperous person. The bear adventure 

C. CH. XVII. 14 

210 Dutcli Arctic Art 

was his chief title to fame and he did not fail to put it 
forward. He was known and is still remembered by the 
nickname, "the man under the bear"; in fact he practically 
adopted as his badge a figure of a man lying beneath a 
bear. He had the incident carved as a bas-relief in stone 
over the door of his house. I have seen a drawing of the 
bas-relief, but the stone itself is no longer visible. It was 
last seen broken into four pieces, and used as ballast for a 
canal boat. Bes, the Zaandam dealer, informed me that 
the pieces were used in the foundation of the new house 
built on the site once occupied by the abode of Jonge 
Kees, which was burned down in 1836. His portrait is in 
Zaandijk Museum, where also are his set of wine-glasses 
engraved with "the man under the bear." There too is 
the go-cart of his grandchildren, with the same incident 
painted upon it, and other personal subjects, as well as 
scenes from the whale-fishery. There is also a large 
picture of the bear adventure in the museum and a copy 
of it in Mr Honig's collection. Both picture and copy 
are signed " Tet Roe," a painter not known to nor de- 
serving of fame. The actual skin of the bear remained in 
the family down to the death of Mr Honig's grandfather, 
when it was sold. It was the largest polar bear-skin ever 
seen in Zaanland 1 . 

It is remarkable that, so far as I can discover, none of 
the many hundreds of painters, who flourished in Holland 
during the 1 7th century, attempted to paint Arctic subjects. 
A few Dutch pamphlets dealing with Spitsbergen affairs 
are illustrated with rather rude woodcuts, and we find a 
few amateurish drawings of the whale-fishery of this date. 
Holland possessed many sea-painters, yet I have failed to 
identify, after long search, more than one 1 7th century picture 
of a whaler. Pictures of ships sailing away or arriving are 
common. The sailing and return of the whaling-fleet was 
a great event at Amsterdam. Surely some painter must 
have depicted it. It was not till quite the close of the 
17th century, when Dutch art was declining, that the 
whaling industry was made the subject of pictures. In 
the 1 8th century they became common enough, but none 

1 Engravings of Jonge Kees' portrait and of Tet Roe's picture may be seen 
in the "Zaanlandsch Jaarboekje voor het jaar 1853" (Zaandijk), which also 
contains an article on the famous skipper. 

Pictures of Whaling 2 1 1 

of them seems to be concerned with Spitsbergen. It was 
the sea-fishery that was painted. 

The best picture of the sort that I have found is one by 
Lieven Verschuyr, recently purchased for the Rotterdam 
Museum of Antiquities on the advice of Mr B. W. F. van 
Riemsdyk, Director of the Amsterdam Museum. Through 
his kindness I am able to include a reproduction of it here. 
Another good whaling picture by A. Hondius is in the 
Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge, representing whalers 
shut up in the pack. A second-rate artist, named A. van 
Salm, a Zaanlander, seems to have devoted much attention 
to this class of subjects. I possess a drawing by him. 
Better are two large signed monochromes by him in the 
Zaandijk Museum, where also is a companion picture of 
the blubber-boiling establishment (Trankokerijen) at Oost- 
sanen. The whaling skippers gave plenty of employment 
at this time to third-rate village artists. In Zaanland I saw 
numbers of trays painted with incidents from the whale- 
fishery, as well as two or three bureau-desks similarly 
decorated. Seamen's chests were likewise so adorned. 
They were of a roughly cylindrical shape like the trunk 
of a tree hollowed out. Edam Museum contains the 
seaman's chest, dated 1706, which belonged to Jacobus 
Jongtyts, skipper of De Joanna of Amsterdam. There is 
a very busy whale-fishing painted on it. A poor artist, 
Joghem de Vries, painted the fishery in 1772 on a tray, and 
I also saw a similar picture by him. 

The finest whale-fishing that I have seen is boldly 
painted in blue on 63 white Delft tiles by the good Delft 
painter Baumeester 1 . He also painted a yet larger Herring- 
fishery, now in the Amsterdam Museum. Whale-fishing 
scenes may also be found very delicately engraved upon glass 
bowls, a good example being in the little Museum at Zaandijk. 

Among the tales recorded by P. P. v. S. is another 
bear-story, — an adventure that happened to two youths 
who landed and walked along the shore. One of them 
carried a lance ; the other was unarmed. A bear spied 
them and rushed upon them. They could not run away 
so had to abide the shock, the unarmed lad standing 
behind the other. The bear leapt upon them but was 

1 It is in my own possession. 
CH. XVII. 14—2 

212 An Adventure 

fortunately stricken to the heart by the first blow and fell 
dead at their feet. Attacks by Polar bears are very rare, those 
beasts generally being afraid of man. Now and again, 
however, one does attack in this fashion and unarmed 
men have sometimes fallen victims to such mischances. 

Another good story is told of the harpooner of Old 
Kees, a well-known whaling captain of those days. It 
happened in 1660. One day the cry went up "Whale! 
whale ! " Old Kees came up with the fish first and struck 
the harpoon into her himself. A second whale-boat came 
up immediately afterwards. Its harpooner Jacob Dieukes 
stood ready to strike another harpoon into the whale when 
she returned to the surface. Unfortunately she came up 
immediately under his boat and smashed it with her head, 
knocking the crew out. Dieukes, instead of falling into 
the sea, landed on the whale at the thin end of the beast 
near his tail. His harpoon stuck into the whale and he 
himself was entangled by the line so that he was firmly 
attached to her and must go where she took him. The 
whale swam away, faster than the boats could follow, with 
the harpooner riding her. They called out to him to cut 
the line and free himself but he could not o^t at his knife. 
After a long and perilous ride his harpoon came loose and 
he was able to part company from his undesired mount. A 
boat soon rescued him from the water, none the worse for 
his strange adventure. 

In 1670 we hear of English ships in the Spitsbergen 
waters, their ill-success being recorded. Apparently they 
killed no right whales at all. As however we are told that 
they made 24 tons of oil out of white whales it is certain 
that they must have been prosecuting the bay fishery. 
White whales were always taken by the English when 
they had the chance. They were caught in nets, or rather 
driven ashore by aid of nets, and so could only be taken in 
the bays. The white-whale fishery continued as a supple- 
mentary industry to other forms of Arctic hunting down to 
a recent time in Spitsbergen. It is probable that the utter 
failure of the English in 1670 put an end to their whaling. 
Next year the Dutch were so successful that the price of 
rape-seed at Hull fell "to nothing 1 ." There is no record 

1 Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1660-70, p. 433; 1 671, p. 471. 

Martens Voyage in 1671 213 

of an English ship setting forth. Henceforward for about 
a hundred years foreigners had the industry practically to 
themselves. Attempts were sometimes made to revive it 
in England by legislative enactments, but they failed one 
after another. The first was made in 1672 and elicited 
but a feeble response. Later efforts were no more 
successful till over 60 years had gone by. A sea fishery 
was then established, but Spitsbergen was little affected 
by that 1 . 

The visit of Frederick Martens, a Hamburg surgeon, 
to Spitsbergen in 1671, makes that year an important one 
in the history of that remote region. He was moved to 
make the uncomfortable journey by a scientific impulse. 
To accomplish his end he enlisted as ship's surgeon on 
the Jonah in the Whale, a ship of Hamburg, which sailed 
from the Elbe on April 15th, was off Jan Mayen on the 
27th, and sighted the southern extremity of Prince Charles' 
Foreland on May 7th. "The land," he writes, "appeared 
like a dark cloud, full of white streaks." When they first 
came near the Foreland, the foot of the " mountains looked 
like fire and the tops of them were covered with foggs. 
The snow was marbel'd and looked as if it were boughs 
and branches of trees, and gave as bright and glorious a 
oloss or shinine to the air or skies as if the sun had shin'd." 
Of the interior he knew nothing ; he only went along the 
shore. "The miles," he says, "look very short but when 
you go to walk them upon the land, you find it quite 
another thing and you will soon be tired ; and also because 
of the roughness and sharpness of the rocks, and for want 
of a path, you will soon get warm be it never so cold. A 
new pair of shoes will not last long here." 

The Jonah in the Whale hunted whales in the open sea 
west of Spitsbergen for over 5 weeks, killing 8 whales, 
besides seals, bears, and walruses. On June 14th they 
came to an anchor off the site of Smeerenburg. We have 
already quoted Martens' description of the place as it then 
appeared in its desolation. On Amsterdam Island he 
noticed "a great and high mountain," which, he says, 
" is usually covered with cloud, when the wind blows over 
it, and darkens the haven as if smoke were comino- from it. 

1 Scoresby, II. 67-95 

CH. xvii. 

214 Martens Observations 

On the mountain stand three white hills, covered with snow. 
Two of these hills stand near together." Zorgdrager 
(p. 288) climbed this mountain in 1703 or 1704. He calls 
it Marri met de Brosten, which Muller says should be 
Moer (mother) met de borste. " These breasts," says 
Zorgdrager, " are merely great ice-mounds, as large as 
a small Dutch sand-dune by the seashore, or a great 
haystack." They then sailed on past Vogelsang and 
eastwards apparently to near the mouth of Hinloopen 
Strait. They did not yet know for certain whether it was 
a strait or a bay 1 . They also saw the Seven Islands in 
the distance. On July 22 they set sail to return home. 
He records that it was the whalers' custom in his time to 
hunt in the open sea between Jan Mayen and Spitsbergen 
in May and June, and near the Spitsbergen coast in July 
and August. The further the season advanced the more 
easterly were the whales. This Zorgdrager explains at 
great length. Martens speaks of seeing plenty of ships. 
As many as thirty were in sight at one time. 

Martens made the first botanical collection known to 
have been brought from Spitsbergen. He also observed 
the birds, and made all kinds of observations on natural 
phenomena that he could think of. His published account 
of his journey laid the foundation of arctic science. It was 
a most successful book. His statements, quoted or merely 
stolen, were practically all that was known about Spits- 
bergen before the scientific expeditions of the nineteenth 
century. Martens states that the Enquiries of the Royal 
Society were brought under his notice by Mr Oldenburg, 
doubtless the same Fellow whom we have seen com- 
municating the answers of Mr Gray. He endeavoured 
to reply to them and thus enlarged the scope of his 
modest work. The book was illustrated with several 
interesting plates. It was translated into many languages 
and often reprinted". 

1 If Hinloopen Strait was so named after Thymen Jacobsz. Hinloopen, a 
manager of the Noordsche Company in 1617 and later, it seems likely that 
it had been explored long before 1671, but there was a strange general ignorance 
about its south end till the explorations of Giles in 1707. 

2 The English translation was first published in a volume entitled "An 

Account of several Late Voyages and Discoveries to the South and North 

By Sir John Narborough, Captain J. Tasman, Captain John Wood, and Frede- 
rick Marten {sic). London, 1694, 8vo. This translation was republished by the 
Hakluyt Society in White's Spitsbergen. London, 1855, 8vo. 



Sooner or later the echoes of European wars were 
generally heard in Spitsbergen waters. So it happened 
in 1674, when three French frigates, under the command 
of Panetie of Boulogne, cruised in the northern seas. The 
highest latitude they reached was yy°. There, probably 
near or in Horn Sound, they captured 10 Dutch whalers. 
They carried away two of them laden with the cargoes of 
the rest, put the crews of all ten into a third and sent them 
home in her, whilst they burnt the remaining seven. The 
greasy hulls must have made a fine blaze 1 . The Dutch 
ships must have gone up at their own risk, for from 1672 to 
1674 the fishery was formally suspended in consequence of 
the war 2 . 

On modern charts a bay on the north side of Ice Sound 
is marked Klaas Billen Bay. The name was not, however, 
originally given to it, but to a bay on the other side of the 
sound, now popularly known as Advent Bay (Adventure 
Bay). Captain Cornelis Claasz Bille was a well-known 
Dutch whaler, and there is a story recorded about him 
by P. P. v. S. which here finds place, for the adventure 
happened in 1675. Bille's ship had had a good season and 
was ready to sail homeward fully laden when she had the 
misfortune to be beset and apparently crushed by ice. 
The captain and his crew of 34 persons took to the 
boats in haste, having only 48 pounds of bread and 4 

1 Journal du corsaire Jean Doublot de Honjleur. Edited by Ch. Breard. 
Paris, 1887, pp. 37, 38. 

2 In 1672 (May 18) a Flushing privateer took a French ship "bound for 
Greenland." Calendar State Papers, Domestic, 1671-72, p. 407. 


216 Claasz Billes Misfortune 

Edam cheeses with them. They rowed and sailed about 
for a fortnight and had given themselves up for lost, 
suffering as they did from hunger and cold. One of the 
boats, containing six men, then reached Smeerenburg where 
they found a Dutch whaler anchored to an ice-floe. They 
were taken on board and fed, but four of the men still 
seemed very ill and told the surgeon that it was their feet 
that hurt them. They were in fact frost-bitten. The 
surgeon forthwith prepared a tub filled with salt-water 
warmed with salt meat (saltz Wasser von Peckel-Fleisch 
warm) and made them keep their feet in it — an extra- 
ordinary treatment, ice-cold water and friction being the 
right counteraction for frost-bite. After an hour their feet 
became much more painful and then the surgeon said there 
was hope of their cure, and in fact in a few days' time when 
the dead flesh had been cut away and the wounds properly 
dressed the men recovered and went to work again. 
Cornells Bille with fifteen men found another ship like- 
wise near Smeerenburg. Three of them were still worse 
frozen but the same surgeon cured them by a remarkable 
treatment. He applied some powerful remedy to the dead 
flesh which came away in 18 hours, and the wounds healed 
ten or twelve days later. This year no less than 13 Dutch 
ships were destroyed and 72 men killed by one icefloe 
near Smeerenburg. 125 ships collected at Fairhaven and 
thence sailed for home in company. 

The discursive P. P. v. S. likewise preserves an account 
of the adventure of four Dutch ships in the following year 
1676. It resembles that of Nordenskiold and some 
Norwegian sloops about 200 years later. Old Kees, 
Young Kees (in the Hope of Whales), and Veen were 
whale-hunting in their respective ships in the northern 
part of Hinloopen Strait, off the great glacier whose long 
sea-front occupies about two-thirds of the coast between 
Heckla Hook and Lomme Bay. It was late in the season 
(Aug. 13) and they were about to sail home when the ice 
packed down on them from the north and drove them hard 
aground. They were firmly beset and could see no open 
water in any direction. The days were shortening and the 
cold strengthening. Old Kees' crew began to murmur. 
Presently they came to the captain and said that they 

Old Kees Decision 217 

proposed to take boats, fill them with three weeks' pro- 
visions, drag them over the ice and abandon the ship. 
Old Kees reasoned with them and tried to persuade them 
not to do so, but they were not to be persuaded. Then 
Old Kees told them to go if they would, but that if they 
went he would not under any circumstances receive them 
back again. He would stick by whomsoever stayed with him, 
but the men that left him must shift for themselves. They 
must live or die by their own actions. This declaration 
frightened them and they stayed. They had their reward, 
for (19 days after they were beset) on September 1st, in 
calm weather, there came, how and whence they knew not, 
a great movement in the sea. The ice broke up. The 
ships were rocked about and moved into deep water. 
Slipping their anchors they sailed away at once, rounded 
Parrot Hook, reached Biscayer Bay and Smeerenburg a 
day later, and all arrived home in safety. 

A similar misfortune happened in 1683, but had no such 
lucky issue. Thirteen Dutch whalers were in Treurenberg 
Bay when the ice packed down on the entrance and enclosed 
them. That was always the danger of this bay, and its 
name Treurenberg or Sorge Bay may have been given 
to it in consequence, the true Treurenberg perhaps being 
some look-out point, whence the behaviour of the pack 
was watched. The enclosed Dutchmen this time abandoned 
their ships, dragged their shallops over the ice into open 
water, and fortunately succeeded in reaching other Dutch 
whalers on the west coast before they had sailed away for 
home 1 . 

The Revolution of 1688, which seated William of 
Orange on the throne of England, and the consequent 
War of the Grand Alliance against France, lasting from 
1689 to tne Peace of Ryswick in 1697, were not without 
their effect on the Spitsbergen fisheries. Dunkerque 
privateers were now able to prey on the whaling fleet 
of the Dutch, as they preyed on the merchant fleets of 
all the opposing Powers, and they did so with great effect, 
hor the time they paralysed English foreign trade. These 
were the great days of Jean Bart, Pointis, Duguay-Trouin, 

1 See Relation du Voyage, etc., printed by Dr E. T. Hamy in Bull, de geog. 
hist, et descript. Paris, 1901, p. 51. 


218 French Raid in 1693 

Nesmond, and the like bold privateer-captains. The prizes 
captured by the Dunkerkers during this war were sold for 
no less than twenty-two millions of livres. At the beginning 
of the war the combined English and Dutch fleets were no 
match for the French. The battle of Beachy Head in 1690 
established their inferiority. Two years later however the 
tide turned and the great naval victory of La Hogue 
transferred the command of the Channel to the allies, 
who held it thenceforward. We read no more of naval 
engagements between powerful fleets but of raids upon 
the commerce of the contending nations. It was not likely 
that the whalers would be forgotten. It is recorded that in 
1690 the French corsair, Jean Bart, entirely destroyed the 
fishery of the Dutch, where and how I have not been 
able to discover. The doings of a French naval expedition 
to Spitsbergen in 1693 are, however, fully reported and 
have been made the subject of an interesting article by 
Dr E. T. Hamy, illustrated by reprints of contemporary 
documents 1 . The following: account is based on this 

The expedition was undertaken by advice of Renau 
d'Elicagaray, "le Petit Renau" as he was called. Monsieur 
de la Varenne, captain of the Pe'lican, was in command. 
He was accompanied by three other frigates : V Aigle, 
le Favory, and le Prudent. The soul of the expedition 
was a Basque with the monstrous name, Johannis de 
Suhigaraychipe, better and more easily known as Coursic 
(le petit corsaire) or Croisic (le petit croiseur). He was 
captain of F Aigle. It is recorded that in the preceding 
six years he had captured more than 100 ships from the 
Spanish and Dutch. Another Basque, Louis de Haris- 
mendy, was captain of le Favory ; whilst Jacques Gouin 
de Beauchene commanded le Prudent. Most of the 
officers, pilots, and mariners seem to have been Basques. 

The squadron came in sight of Spitsbergen on July 28th. 
Next day they captured a Danish ship, which was empty, 
and made her follow them. They found and took two 

1 In Bull, de geog. hist, et descript., Paris, 1901, pp. 32-64, with reproduc- 
tion of contemporary chart. The principal document appended is entitled, 
" Relation du Voyage de Spitsbergen en Groland, par quatre frdgattes, sous les 
ordres de M. de la Varenne, Capitaine de Vaisseau." This appears to have 
been written by a Basque officer of the Favory, probably Ensign d'Etchebehere. 

French Captures 219 

more Danes in Magdalena Bay. Varenne's instructions 
were to burn or sink all ships Hying the English, Dutch, 
or Hamburg flag. In the case of ships flying the Danish 
flag he was to examine whether they were really Danish, 
and if they were he was to let them continue their fishery, 
and even help them in any way he could. Ships that were 
doubtful, or were recognised by the Basques as really 
Hamburg or Dutch, he was to capture and lade with the 
cargo of the burnt ships, if time allowed, and was to send 
them to France under escort, manning them with prisoners. 
In case there were too many of these, he was to save 
enough ships to hold them and let them sail away to 
their homes, after depriving them of all cargo and tools 
for the fishery. 

The French with their three prizes entered South Gat 
and there found 15 or 16 Dutch and Danes. Le Favory 
was promptly sent to Danes Gat to take the whalers there, 
but they received news overland (by way of Danes Island) 
before le Favory could arrive, so three vessels escaped and 
got away north-eastward to warn the rest of the whalers. 
In all they captured four Dutch in South Gat, and the rest 
Danes. There were two other Dutch in South Gat "who 
escaped by a way which was unknown to the commander. 
On being informed he sent his lieutenant in the great 
shallop armed, to try and stop them, but he could not do 
it, finding resistance superior to his forces." 

On the 30th le Favory captured a new Dutch pinnace 
returning empty from the ice, and r Aigle took a Dutchman. 
Next day le Favory took two more Dutchmen and a Dane 
and brought them all into the South Gat, whilst on Aug. 1st 
r Aigle came in with two Dutch prizes, having burnt 
another, and seen about 50 Dutch whalers to the north- 
eastward in the ice. Harismendy, taking Croisic with him, 
went on board the Pdlican and told Varenne what he had 
seen. They urged that the fleet should be at once pursued. 
Varenne seems to have been inert, and was censured for it 
when he returned home. He said he would stay where he 
was and guard his prizes but that I' Aigle and le Favory 
might go in pursuit, and that if le Prudent returned in time 
he would send her after them, which, however, did not 

ch. XVIII. 

220 Frigates find the Dutch 

L 1 Aigle and le Favory, with their enterprising captains, 
immediately sailed northwards, but calms impeded them. 
On the 4th they came to a field of ice, two leagues wide 
and longer than they could see in both directions. They 
found a lead and passed through into open water beyond. 
They then saw that the enemy were near the great pack, 
so they sailed towards them. On the 5th, being quite near 
the pack, they counted 45 whalers in or near it, and 9 at 
the mouth of Treurenberg Bay. They call this Beerbay, 
"la baye aux Ours." Dr Hamy identifies it with Lomme 
Bay ; but though Lomme Bay is sometimes wrongly marked 
" Beer Bay" on old charts, the true Bear Bay was Treuren- 
berg Bay, and all the topographical indications, as well as 
the map illustrating the report, prove this to have been the 
scene of the fight that presently took place. The French 
decided to pursue these nine ships and accordingly sailed 
through a thick mist in that direction. About midnight on 
the 6th the weather cleared and all the French could 
see were three Dutch ships in the ice and four entering 
Treurenberg Bay, just where the nine had been the day 
before. The French concluded that they would find the 
rest within the bay and decided to follow them. The 
wind falling they were obliged to tow the frigates with 
four boats to each. They thus approached the bay, keeping 
the lead going. On a tongue of land at the mouth of the 
bay, on a little rising ground, they saw an earthwork with 
guns and a Dutch flag flying 1 ; but this did not frighten 
them. Forging ahead they neared the fort, which fired on 
them but did no harm. When they could see to the bottom 
of the bay they counted 40 whalers, all flying the Dutch 
flag, and they distinguished amongst them those of the 
admiral, the vice-admiral, and the rear-admiral. All the 
ships were ranged in good order in a crescent formation. 
The two frigates were towed up to the Dutchmen within 
half the range of a 3-pounder, which was as far as they 
could come in consequence of the calm and of the current. 
Then they cast anchor "et nous mimes de cotte entravers 

1 Parry in 1827 ("Narrative," p. 137) found 30 Dutch graves on this spot, 
but the oldest with a date was of 1738. A grave dated 1690 was on the beach 
E. of Hecla Cove. These dated graves to the eastward might be used as 
implying "open ice" years. Unfortunately not many of them have been recorded 
by travellers. 

Fight in Treurenberg Bay 221 

au moyen de nos croupieres." The Dutch raised derisive 
shouts of Vive Ic Roy! and other cries which the French 
could not understand. 

Croisic and Harismendy sent a shallop well equipped, 
Hying a white flag and with a drummer, under the command 
of Ensign d'Etchebehere, who could talk Dutch well, to 
summon the Dutch to yield. When this shallop approached 
the admiral of the enemy it was met by a Dutch shallop 
escorted by others. The Dutch captains replied to the 
summons to yield that they were surprised at such temerity, 
in that the French should think of attacking them when 
they were in such numbers and moreover in a place the 
dangerous character of which the French probably did 
not realize. They refused to yield and declared themselves 
ready to acquit themselves of their duty. 

Before the French shallop had returned to the frigate 
the Dutch began to fire their guns both on the shallop and 
the frigates. The former was hit, but without damage to 
its crew. The shallop containing Captain Harismendy, 
who was returning to his ship from P Aigle, was likewise 
hit. This was between 8 and 9 o'clock in the morning of 
August 6th. The fire of the Dutch continued heavy till 
1 o'clock and was warmly replied to by the French. The 
whalers had crews of about 40 to 45 "good men, all 
sailors," and each ship from 10 to 18 guns. As long as 
their powder lasted "their discharges went on as regularly 
as if they had been from musketry." The French state 
that their own fire was so effective that if the sea had not 
been absolutely calm, "as in a fountain," most of the whalers 
would have sunk. 

After five hours' fighting the Dutch fire slackened but 
the French continued as vigorously as ever, expecting to 
see the enemy hoist the white flag and ask for quarter, 
seeing that they had almost ceased firing. Instead of 
doing so, however, several of them cut their cables and 
started towing out, each being towed by six or more 
shallops, doing their utmost to escape from the bay by help 
ot the shallops and the current. The French had only two 
shallops left, one for each frigate, the rest having all been 
destroyed in the fight. They were thus unable to prevent 
the escape of most of the whalers, but they captured 13. 


222 The French Prizes 

If Varenne's ship or le Prudent had been there the whole 
fleet would have been taken. This fact was duly reported 
to the authorities in France on their return. Varenne was 
censured and deprived of his command. It is stated that 
he was quite inexperienced in arctic navigation, whilst 
Croisic and the other Basques were experts, so that the 
real censure ought to have fallen on those who appointed 
an unsuitable commander. The two frigates were not 
badly damaged. " L ' Aigle a este obligee de changer son 
mat de mizaine et gimeler (jumeler) ses basses vergues. 
Le Favory a eu un mat de hune de rompeu et sa vergue 
d'artimon, un canon creve et 2 de demontez." Two men 
were killed on the Favory, one of them being an officer 
who had volunteered from the Pe'lican. "II a finy 
glorieusement, ayant receu un coup de canon a la cuisse 
et apres avoir donne des marques fort sensibles tant de 
sa valleur que de son experiance et bonne conduite." The 
losses of I Aigle are not recorded. There were also several 
wounded, some of them maimed for life. Nothing is said 
about the losses of the Dutch. 

On the 7th the French sailed away with 1 1 prizes, 
having burnt the other two. On the 9th they met the 
Pelican, which had just taken two Dutchmen. On the 10th 
they rejoined Varenne in South Gat. During their absence 
he also had taken two prizes. In all they captured 28 
Dutch whalers, of which they burnt 17 and took the other 
1 1 away home. Le Pe'lican and le Prudent sailed on the 
1 2th, leaving the other two frigates to convoy the prizes. 
They sailed on the 14th, and on the 17th they sent away 
to their own country 16 Danish vessels carrying the Dutch 
prisoners. They contained but little cargo. The writer of 
the report suspected that these ships really belonged to 
Hamburg. Most of their captains admitted that they were 
Hamburg men. Their method was to take out papers at 
Altona, which then belonged to Denmark. They paid fees 
for them into the Danish treasury. This suited the Danes 
and enabled the Hamburg merchants to trade in time of 
war as safely as in peace. Croisic concluded to let them 
go because their cargoes were not worth seizing. 

One of the officers on his return to France transmitted 
to the Due de Gramont a chart representing the doings of 

Dutch Losses 223 

the expedition 1 . It was shown to the king, Louis XIV, 
who expressed himself pleased with the behaviour of the 
officers and crews of VAigle and le Favory, and promised 
to remember them " quand il y aura lieu de leur faire 

It was the impression of the French that they had 
entirely overthrown the voyage of the Dutch this year, 
and that those ships that escaped must have returned 
home practically empty ; but such, as we shall presently 
see, was not the case. 

G. van Sante's records for this year incidentally throw 
some welcome light upon the method of the fishery at this 
time. The beginning of the season was poor. Only one 
Dutch ship was successful. She killed 12 whales and went 
home full-laden before the French arrived. Eight Dutch 
ships and ten Danish were lost by misadventure in the ice. 
Thus it happened that the whalers had to go eastward as 
the season advanced to make their voyage, and they had 
just come among a quantity of whales and were doing well 
when the French fell on them. One ship was already 
full-laden. Five dead whales were found drawn up for 
flensing en the shore of Treurenberg Bay. Undoubtedly 
the French interruption at so critical a moment did great 
damage. It appears that the Dutch ships that escaped 
made off down Hinloopen Strait. They refitted somewhere 
and perhaps continued their fishing after the French had 
gone. It is stated that at this time only the Dutch went 
so far east. None of the Basques had ever been there ; 
for this part was considered very dangerous, as the ice might 
pack down quickly and shut up the entrance of Hinloopen 
Strait. The French were afraid it might do so while the 
fight was proceeding because the pack was only about two 
cannon-shots away and was rapidly approaching. A south 
wind, however, sprang up and saved them from being 
enclosed in Treurenberg Bay along with their enemies. 

A manuscript in the possession of Mr G. J. Honig of 
Zaandijk enables us to complete the story of this season. 
From it we learn that 89 ships went to the fishery. As 

1 It is preserved at Paris in the Depot des cartes et plans de la marine, 
Pf. 2, div. 7, p. 1. There is a full-size tracing of it in my Spitsbergen Atlas at 
the R. Geog. Soc, London. 

CH. xvm. 


Record of War Losses 

only 62 are indicated on the French map, the rest may 
have been off Edge Island at the time of the French raid. 
Of the 89 ships 26 were taken and 6 were wrecked in the 
ice. The remainder brought 175 whales home. The rate 
of insurance at the time, covering both sea and war risks, 
was 2 per cent. This year the whalers paid 71,200 florins 
for insurance and received 666,100 florins from the under- 
writers, so it was the latter who suffered. The rate of 
insurance next year seems still to have remained 2 per cent. 

Mr Honig also possesses the balance-sheets relating to 
the voyage of two Zaanland whalers this same season. 
Albert and Cornelis Claesz were their skippers. Both 
made very profitable voyages, and not only repaid a 
balance of loss on their ships from preceding years but 
paid a big profit besides, the price of oil being unusually 

1693 was not th e on ly year in which Dutch whalers 
suffered the misfortunes of war. French writers claim 
that in 1696 the famous Jean Bart captured a Dutch fleet 
of 106 sail in the north, after carrying by boarding five 
States men-of-war which were sailing as convoy. Bart 
is said to have admitted 61 of these prizes to ransom. 
The cold and unimaginative account-books belonging to 
Mr G. J. Honig, however, with their records of rates of 
insurance, sums paid to and received from underwriters, 
price of oil, and so forth, disprove this assertion. They 
record, from year to year, the total number of Dutch 
whalers that were taken. The numbers are as follows : 







1 703 








Notwithstanding such mishaps, the whale-fishery became 
increasingly popular in Holland. 

In 1693, as we have seen, 89 Dutch ships went to the 
fishery. It is not surprising that in 1694 their number 
sank to 63 ; but in 1695 they rose to 97, in 1696 to 121, 
and in 1697 to 129 (which confirms the untruthfulness of 
Jean Bart's boasted captures). The number steadily in- 
























Zorgdrager 225 

creased to 207 in 1701. The English meanwhile were 
inactive. Their whaling industry never recovered from 
the troubles of the Revolutionary period, and they had 
lost the art of organising it. In 1694, indeed, an 
English Company speculated in whaling, but they were 
extravagant in equipment and wages. Reindeer skins and 
horns were permitted to be the captain's perquisite, a 
foolish arrangement, for it made captain and crew, who 
were certain of their wages and were not paid by shares, 
more anxious to hunt and supply themselves with venison 
than to go out after whales. The Bay fishery tradition was 
also firmly fixed in their minds. The ships, says Elking 
(p. 47), went "to the bays and diverted themselves with 
hunting the deer, and left the shallops to look for whales.'' 
The voyage was consequently a failure. 

The year 1697 was universally remembered as the best 
known till then for the Spitsbergen whale-fishery. At this 
time Cornelius Gisbert Zorgdrager was a whaling captain. 
He made his first voyage as " Commandeur " in 1690 1 . 
He was reputed, and is still noted at Zaandam, an un- 
fortunate skipper. Honig 2 says that between 1700 and 
1705 he lost two ships, and that in the other four 
voyages he only got thirteen fish. In 1720 he published 
his important book on Dutch whaling, to which I have 
been much indebted. That work incorporates without 
acknowledgment matter previously published by others : 
Leonin's account, P. P. v. S.'s stories, Marten's observa- 
tions, and perhaps other writings that I have not identified. 
In the midst of this patchwork Zorgdrager inserted his 
own notes, reminiscences, and the traditions of his men. 
Speaking of the year 1697, he says, that at the close of 
the season he lay in Recherche Bay in his ship the Four 
Brothers with 7 whales on board, along with over 200 
other ships mostly well laden. They had collected together 
for safety, owing to the war with France. They were 
convoyed home by nine Dutch and two Hamburg men-of- 
war. "Among all these ships there was not one that 

1 He says (p. 209) that on the occasion of his first voyage to Spitsbergen 
he saw two English warehouses still standing in Bell Sound. The date may 
have been about 1670. 

2 Studien, p. 65. 

C. CH. XVIII. 15 


The Great Yea?' 1697 

had killed no whales. Many were full-laden. The least 
successful Dutch ship had three whales. In this inner 
bay, which is named Schoonhoven, all these ships were 
able to ride together with a good sandy anchorage, pro- 
tected from all winds. There also came in and joined 
us several Russian vessels, to take advantage of our 
convoy 1 ." We possess three several lists of the ships and 
cargo of this year". The following is given by Harris. 

Ships sent out 

Ships lost 


Casks of blubher 


Hamburg ... 


























1 1 



The total value of all the blubber and whalebone was 
.£378,449, whereof £249,532 fell to the Dutch. 

This, the first mention of Russian vessels in Spitsbergen 
waters, deserves notice. As Russians are not included in 
the above list of whalers it is probable that they did not go 
up in pursuit of whales. An important export from north 
Russia was skins and furs. The people of the White Sea 
were expert huntsmen, and were wont to frequent Novaja 
Zemlja for the chase. It is probable that they came to 
Spitsbergen to kill seals, walruses, bears, foxes, and 
reindeer, as we shall presently find ample record of their 
doing through a long series of years. At present their 
appearance attracted little notice. It seems to be implied 

1 Zorgdrager, German edn. pp. 208, 209. 

2 Zorgdrager, loc. cit., B. du Reste's in the Histoire des Pec/ies, and one in 
Harris's Travels, II. (a), p. 398 (edn. of 1748). 

Russians at Spitsbei'geii 227 

that they only came up for the summer. When they took 
to spending the whole year in this bitter land their 
adventures and sufferings found frequent record. 

In this very year 1697, when Peter the Great was in 
Holland, the people of the great whaling centre Zaandam 
performed for his entertainment and instruction an imitation 
whale-hunt in their haven. One wonders whether the de- 
velopment of Russian enterprise in Spitsbergen waters was 
in any way influenced by that spectacle. 

We find a simple statement that in the year 1 700 there 
was a great whale-fishery near Stone Foreland 1 . The bare 
fact is all we know. It suffices to prove that the coasts 
of Spitsbergen were still frequented by whales, however 
completely the bays may have been abandoned by them. 
1 701 was another great season, when 207 Dutch ships 
captured no less than 207 if whales 2 . Nothing is said 
about where the fishing ground lay at that time, but 
Zorgdrager (p. 288) in an interesting passage gives very 
full information about the habits of the whales at this time. 

"In the year 1703 or 1704," he writes, "when I came 
out of the ice with two fish, I was beset in my ship the 
White Sheep along with four others, below the Zeeuschen 
Uitkyk (Outer Norway Island). We lay fast there for 
several weeks and only got loose on August 24th, if I 
remember right. We then sailed through along the coast 
to Smeerenburg and from there on the 26th through South 
Bay (i.e. West Bay) into the sea. The joy of our men to 
find themselves again in the sea after so tedious and 
anxious a besetment was very great and I fully shared it. 
During the time we lay beset, we heard and saw whales 
almost every day, sometimes few, sometimes many, often 
within but oftener outside the bay. We were, however, 
so firmly beset that it was impossible to fish. We often 
landed on the Uitkyk (a high point) and saw from thence 
the whales come up at small gaps and holes in the ice. 
\\ hen one went down another came up in his place. As 
we were sailing away we also saw several whales in the 
North Bay, one of which came quite close to us, so that we 
had a good chance to fish ; but we had enough to do to 
save our ship, so we did not attack the whales. Likewise 

1 Scoresby, n. 180. 2 G van Sante, p. xxvi. 

CH. xvm. 15—2 

228 Giles Voyage in 1707 

when we were lying off Smeerenburg, we saw and heard 
some whales round Maklyk Ond 1 and in the Dutch Bay. 
While we lay there we climbed the hill (on Amsterdam 
Island) called Marri met de Brosten, which breasts are 
nothing more than big mounds of ice, about the size of 
a large hay-stack or a small sand-dune, such as one sees 
on the shores of Holland. We climbed up these mounds 
and came down afterwards on to the main mass of the 

" From this mountain we saw some ships sailing outside 
Magdalena Bay, and about it in the sea, and near the edge 
of the ice, which was not far from land, for the whole fleet 
was waiting for us in Magdalena and Cross Bays, the time 
for sailing home having come. We could not see then, and 
did not afterwards hear, that they saw any fish either in the 
sea or under the ice near the land ; but near us wherever 
the ice lay we saw many fish, that seemed daily to increase 
in number." 

Zorgdrager concluded that the fish knew the ships and 
kept away from them, and that when they were aware that 
the fleet was departed they disported themselves freely as 
they used to do in the open sea and in the bays before the 
whalers intruded upon them. Now, however, it was only 
within the ice that they so behaved. 

The year 1 707 is notable for the last important addition 
to the knowledge of Spitsbergen geography added by 
whalers while carrying on the operations of their industry. 
The facts are briefly recorded in a letter of John Walig, as 
follows 2 . 

"In the year 1707 Captain Cornelis Gillis 3 , having gone 
without any ice far to the northward of 8 1 °, proceeded from 
thence east, and afterwards south-east, remaining to the 

1 A misprint for Makkelijk Oud. Muller says that this was the name of 
three small bays in Fairhaven, one just south of the N.W. point of the main 
island, one (also named Krayennest) further S., and one in the S. coast of 
the haven. Zorgdrager on his map marks it as the point or low ness forming 
the N.W. angle of the island. His mention of the name, above, seems to imply 
that it designated a cape. In Giles and Rep's chart it is marked in the middle 
of the E. side of Fairhaven. 

2 The letter is dated 3 Jan. 1775, and was printed by the Hon. Daines 
Barrington {North Pole, edn. of 1818, p. 143). 

3 The name is spelt Giles on his own map. It is also sometimes spelt 
Gillies and Gilies. Giles is the best authenticated form. 

Giles' Surveys 229 

cast of the North-East land, when coming again to latitude 
80 he discovered about 25 miles east from the country, to 
the- north-east, very high lands on which, as far as we 
know, nobody has ever been." In response to Mr Bar- 
rington's further enquiries, he received the following account, 
drawn up in March 1775, by Captain William May. 

" Finding that Mr Van Keulen had put down (in his 
chart) the land discovered by Captain Gillis, mentioned 
in Mr Walig's letter, I went to him, to see on what 
foundation he had placed that discovery ; but as those 
papers could not be found, I applied to Mr Walig, who 
told me, that Mr Cornelius Gillis had been an inhabitant 
of the Helder ; that Walig. ..and others, since dead, had 
often examined Gillis's papers, maps, etc., and found that 
he was an enterprising man, and very accurate in his 
remarks and charts ; that his grandson had his Journals 
and other Papers in his possession ; and his granddaughter, 
who was married to an officer of Walig's ship (who had 
formerly been a commander) has his charts, some of which 
that officer generally took with him, in order to correct 
them. I begged hard to have them, if only for twenty-four 
hours ; and next morning Mr Walig put into my hands the 
original draughts of all the discoveries Mr Gillis ever made 
with regard to Spitsbergen, excepting some particular 
drawings of bays and views of land, with permission to 
keep them in my possession till Mr Walig's return from 
Greenland, copies of which are here annexed 1 ; and 
Mr Walig promised to procure me, if possible, all the 
papers of that old commander, before he left the Texel, 
which I hope to receive in a few days, and shall not fail 
in sending over everything I find material. Asking what 
particulars Mr Walig and others remembered out of those 
papers, they gave the following short account. " That 
Mr Gillis passed more than a degree to the northward of 
the Seven Islands, without any hindrance from ice ; that he 
proceeded east for some leagues with an open sea, then 
bent his course south-east, and afterwards south ; saw in 
the latitude of 8o c , to the east, very high land ; ran 

1 Daines Barrington therefore possessed copies of these important docu- 
ments. " These," he says, " were copies of the draughts of the different coasts 
of Spitsbergen, of which Captain Gillis hath taken accurate surveys." 


230 The Giles and Rep Chart 

through {i.e. sailed down) the east coast of the North- 
East Land, and entered the Waygats (Hinloopen) Straits ; 
came to an anchor in Lamber (Lomme) Bay, and took two 
whales, and from thence proceeded to the Texel." 

The loss of Giles' papers is unfortunate, but it is 
probable that his observations are all included in the great 
chart of Spitsbergen, published (without date) by Gerard 
van Keulen, and stated to have been edited by {opgegeven 
door) the " Commandeurs Giles en Outger Rep." From 
G. van Sante's list we learn that Rep did not sail for the 
whale-fishery after 1 702. Giles sailed in the seasons from 
1700 to 1714 1 . The discovery of 1707 therefore was made 
by Giles only, and not by Giles and Rep as sometimes 
stated 2 . The chart in question marks " Commandeur Giles 
Land ontdekt 1707 is hoog land" a few minutes N. of 8o°. 
It likewise depicts the whole of North-East Land and the 
surrounding islands far more accurately than any previous 
chart, besides correctly depicting Hinloopen Strait and the 
coasts of Spitsbergen generally. Its worst part is the 
northern half of Wybe Jans Water, obviously a mere copy 
of earlier charts, with Heley's Sound running north. 
Barents Island is fully attached to the main island. This 
chart sums up the knowledge of Spitsbergen geography 
obtained by the whalers and is a remarkable production. 
Its weakest point is its nomenclature. The old names 
given in the times of the bay fishery were already 
becoming confused and transposed. The very sites of 
the old fishing stations were forgotten. Many of the 
modern blunders in the naming of the bays and capes of 
Spitsbergen date from this chart. 

Giles Land has seldom been sighted since Captain Giles 
discovered it. Captain Carlsen, first circumnavigator of 
Spitsbergen, saw it on August 16, 1863, when sailing down 
the E. coast of North-East Land, as Giles had done. 
Captain Tobiesen saw it on August 7th, 1864, from 
near the eastern point of North-East Land. About 1896 
Mr Arnold Pike's boat Victoria visited Giles Land on a 

1 Both probably lived at the H elder, but they were employed by Zaanland 
adventurers, Giles for a group of the inhabitants of Yisp, and Rep for Olphert 
Daalder of Oostsanen. (Mr Honig's information.) 

2 F. van Hellwald, Im ewige)i Eis, p. 390. 

Giles or Gill is Laud 231 

hunting expedition. Finally in 1898 Dr Nathorst in the 
Antarctic not only circumnavigated and photographed the 
island, but landed on its N.E. and S.W. points and in- 
vestigated their geology. "Giles Land," he writes 1 , "was 
glittering white from its highest summit down to the very 
edge of the sea. It was covered throughout with its soft 
mantle of snow ; not a rock projected through it to break 
its spotless purity. The island rose in regular curves to an 
altitude of 600 or 700 feet, and was one continuous mass of 
ice and snow. The ice plunges down into the sea all 
round the island (except at the N.E. and S.W. ends), 
and is quite inaccessible, being abruptly broken off at the 
water's edge, thus presenting a steep wall of ice to the 
waves, and forming in some places big cubical icebergs.... 
With the sun shining upon it White Island (Giles Island) 
must be a fascinating object. It is considerably larger than 
previous maps represented it to be." 

Henceforward the whalers' records are almost silent 
about Spitsbergen, and the old traditions died away and 
were forgotten. It was still, and for more than a century 
remained, the custom for a whaling vessel to look into some 
Spitsbergen harbour towards the end of its voyage, there 
to "make-off" or clean ship and hunt reindeer 2 . A few 
such references can be gleaned, though they are of little 
interest. Thus in 1721 Kiihn, who was cook's mate on 
the Einkorn of Hamburg, mentions seeing Klok Bay 
(Bell Sound) and staying a while in Green Harbour to 
clean ship, where two other Hamburg and six Dutch ships 
were similarly engaged. He says that he saw there the 
ruins of the huts where the Dutchmen wintered in 1633-4. 
He was thus either at Smeerenburg and blundered over 
the name of the harbour, or in Ice Sound and had forgotten 
the place of the wintering. In the following year the ship 
on which he sailed went to Moffen Island for walrus, and 
cleaned up in Magdalena Bay, where they shot 18 reindeer. 

In 1758 a Swedish medical student, A. R. Martin 3 , was 

1 Geographical Journal, Aug. 1899, p. 170. 

2 "When the Fishery among the Ice is over, the Ships go sometimes to the 
Bays of Spitsbergen and the Men go ashore to refresh themselves. There they 
find very good Deer, especially Roebucks : They are very fat." — Elking's Green- 
land Trade, 1725, p. 31. 

3 His journal is published in Ymer, I. 102. 


232 Bacstrom s Visit in 1780 

allowed to sail as a naturalist, on a whaler sent out from 
Gottenburg. He was only able to land for three hours, and 
then not on Spitsbergen but on a small island near the 
Foreland, where he gathered a few flowers, whilst his 
companions killed eider-ducks, and collected a vast quantity 
of their eggs. 

In 1780 the ship on which Bacstrom was surgeon spent 
three weeks in Magdalena Bay along with a number of 
other whalers, for the purpose of "cutting the blubber 
up into small bits to fill the blubber-butts." While the 
crew "were ' making-off,' the masters, surgeons, etc., of 
the different vessels then there visited each other and 
diverted themselves in the best way they were able. Such 
visits last sometimes 24 hours, for there is no night to 
interrupt the entertainment." The season of 1780 was the 
finest anyone could remember, "almost constant fine 
weather." Bacstrom on this occasion attempted to climb 
Roche Hill, but only got halfway up after several hours' 
work. Such brief excursions on shore added nothing to 
the knowledge of arctic lands. Martens remained the 
great authority. It was not till the age of organised 
scientific expeditions that scientific observers had a chance 
of obtaining accurate information about the fascinating 
lands of the north. Before those days came, however, 
Spitsbergen was visited and even inhabited by men from 
a nation that had taken no part in the whaling industry — 
the Russian trappers. To these new folk and their new 
occupations, ideas, adventures, and sufferings we must next 
turn our attention. After the end of the 18th century the 
Dutch fishery became unimportant. 1802 was the last year 
in which many Dutch ships sailed for the fishery ; the very 
last sailing was in or about 1864. It was from England 
that the most successful whalers in the 19th century sailed 
to the northern seas. With their doings, however, we are 
not here concerned. 



The whalers of the year 1697 recorded that several 
Russian vessels were in the Spitsbergen seas that season. 
They mention them casually and not as a novelty. In the 
list of the year's bag of whales none are ascribed to them, 
and we are probably safe in concluding that these Russians 
did not come up as whalers, but as huntsmen, to kill white- 
whales, walrus, seals, bears, reindeer, and foxes, and perhaps 
to collect eider-down. Thus the Russian trappers frequented 
Spitsbergen long before the whalers ceased to visit those 
islands ; and, as we shall see, they, and their later Nor- 
wegian rivals continued to make Spitsbergen their hunting- 
ground for many years after the scientific exploration of 
the country was definitely taken in hand. It seems best, 
however, to depart from the strict chronological order which 
we have thus far followed, and to treat the industry and 
adventures of the trappers separately, for they had no 
connexion with the whalers and in no way depended on 

From the narrative of the adventures of the four Russian 
sailors, which immediately follows, we learn that the Russian 
industry on Spitsbergen was fully introduced some years 
before 1743, for it is stated that one of the four men, Ivan 
Himkof by name, "had passed the winter several times on 
the western coast of Spitsbergen." It is also recorded that 
the hut in which the four unfortunates took refuge had been 
built some time previously by some inhabitants of Mezen 
who had intended to winter there. This hut stood about 
a quarter of a mile from the sea. It was 36 ft. long by 


234 The Four Russian Sailors 

about 1 8 ft. broad. It had a small entrance-hall, or porch, 
about 6 ft. wide. In the main chamber was a Russian clay 
stove. In fact the hut was similar to others which at a 
later time were dotted about all round the Spitsbergen 
coasts. The fact that Zorgdrager, whose book was pub- 
lished in 1720, knew nothing of Russian settlers wintering 
in the island, seems to indicate that the Russian Spitsbergen 
industry sprang up between that date and 1740. 

" In the year 1743 Jeremias OttamkorT, an inhabitant of 
Mezen in Jergovia, a part of the government of Archangel, 
bethought himself of sending out a vessel with 14 hands to 
Spitsbergen, to fish for whales and sea-calves {i.e. not to 
winter), in which line he carried on a considerable trade. 
For eight days together this vessel had a favourable wind, 
but on the ninth it changed. Instead of proceeding to the 
western side of Spitsbergen, to which the Dutch and other 
nations annually resort for the whale-fishery, they were 
desirous of sailing to the eastern side, and shortly reached 
an island which is called East Spitsbergen (i.e. Edge 
Island), known to the Russians by the name of Maloy 
Brown, which signified Little Brown ; Spitsbergen proper 1 , 
being called by them Bolschoy Brown, that is, Great Brown. 
They were within three versts of shore (two English miles), 
when suddenly the vessel was inclosed by ice 2 ." The place 
where this happened was probably on the south-east coast 
of Edge Island. 

Expecting the destruction of the ship, the mate Alexis 
Himkof, his godson Ivan Himkof, and two other sailors, 
Stephen Scharapof and Feodor Weregin by name, prepared 
to land and search for a hut, which they knew had been 
built by countrymen of theirs with a view to wintering in 
those parts. It was determined that if the hut could be 
found the ship should be abandoned. 

The four sailors provided themselves with such things 
as were necessary for their use during the few days they 

1 They also called it Grumant, a mispronunciation of Greenland. 

2 This is quoted and the remainder of the story condensed from 
"A Narrative of the singular adventures of four Russian sailors, who were 
cast away on the desert island of East Spitsbergen, etc." By P. L. Le Roy, 
translated from the German original (s. 1. et d.) (London, 1774). Reprinted in 
Pinkerton's Collection, and for the most part in Thomas Day's Sandford and 
Merton (London, 1783). 

Abandoned by their Ship 235 

hiight be away from the ship, for they had to travel over 
piled and broken ice for two miles to the shore. They took 
a musket and twelve rounds of ammunition, an axe, a small 
kettle, a knife, a tinder-box and tinder, about twenty pounds 
of Hour, a bladder of tobacco, and each man his wooden 
pipe. They soon discovered the hut about a quarter of 
a mile inland. 

Next morning they returned to the shore, and were 
horrified to discover that ice-pack and ship had been carried 
away and the open sea confronted them. The ship was 
never heard of again. They immediately set to work to 
patch up their hut by help of their axe and the driftwood, of 
which they found a considerable quantity on the shore. 
Their twelve rounds of ammunition procured for them 
twelve reindeer, with which they started housekeeping. The 
only vegetable product of the island was a little scurvy- 

Amongst the driftwood they fortunately found fragments 
of wreckage which provided them with some boards as well 
as with a long iron hook, some big nails 5 or 6 inches long, 
and other bits of iron. They also found a piece of fir root 
which only required to be trimmed with their knife to form 
a handy bow. 

By heating the hook and working at it with a nail they 
made a hammer of it. With a large pebble for anvil and 
two reindeer horns for tongs they next forged two nails into 
spear-heads and fastened them into wooden shafts with 
thongs of reindeer skin. Thus equipped, they sallied forth 
and slaughtered a white bear after a most perilous fight. 
His flesh gave them food, and out of his tendons, which 
they discovered how to split, they made cords which served 
them for bowstring and for tying on to wooden shafts small 
iron arrow-points which they made in the same way as the 
spear-heads. With these arrows, during the years of their 
imprisonment, they slew no less than 150 reindeer, besides 
a number of blue and white foxes. Of bears they killed in 
all ten, nine in defending themselves from attack and the 
one above mentioned. Such was the entire supply of food 
on which these men subsisted till August, 1 749 — a period of 
six years. They smoked some of their meat, but ate most 
of it raw, for they had to husband their fuel. It was this 


236 The Four Russian Sailors 

plentiful supply of raw meat and fresh blood, coupled with 
their active life, that preserved three of them from scurvy. 
The fourth, Feodor Weregin, who was an indolent man, 
and, moreover, refrained from drinking reindeer blood, was 
attacked soon after arrival in the island, and died of scurvy 
shortly before the others were relieved. 

To keep their fire continually alight was a prime ne- 
cessity, for, their supply of tinder being exhausted, if it were 
to go out they would be unable to relight it. They there- 
fore determined to make a lamp. Nearly in the middle 
of the island they found some earthy clay of which they 
fashioned a rude pot. They filled it with reindeer fat, and 
used some twisted linen for a wick. When the fat melted, 
however, it oozed away through the sides, which were too 
porous to hold it. So they made a new lamp, dried it 
thoroughly, and then heated it red-hot, and quenched it in 
their kettle in a mixture of flour and water boiled to the 
consistency of thin starch. They covered its outside with 
linen rags which had been dipped in the paste. This con- 
trivance succeeded, and the lamp held oil ; they accordingly 
made a second for fear of accidents. For wicks they used 
a small quantity of oakum and cordage washed up with 
the driftwood, and tore up their shirts and undergarments. 
The supply thus formed lasted as long as they were on the 

They made clothes out of skins, which they soaked 
several days in water till the hair could be pulled off, and 
then rubbed dry with their hands and afterwards thoroughly 
greased and rubbed. They made needles out of bits of 
iron and wrought them with considerable skill, as was 
vouched for by those who saw them on their return to 
Europe. Sinews served for thread. In summer they wore 
jackets and breeches of skins, and in winter long fur gowns 
with hoods. 

They described the island as having many mountains 
and steep rocks of a stupendous height constantly covered 
with snow and ice. Its only vegetation is scurvy-grass and 
moss. About the middle of the island they found the "fattish 
loam or clay" above referred to. There are no rivers, but 
many small rivulets. As for the weather, they said that 
from about the middle of November to the beginning of 

Rescued after Six Years 237 

January it generally rained hard and continually, and all 
that time the cold was moderate. After this rainy season 
severe cold prevailed, especially when the wind was from 
the south. They once heard thunder. 

Shortly after the death of Weregin the survivors, in 
August 1749, were rejoiced by seeing a Russian ship, which 
had been carried out of its course to West Spitsbergen by 
contrary winds. She was driven close to shore just opposite 
the hut. The men on board saw the fires and reindeer-hide 
flag of the castaways, and came to anchor near the shore. 
The three men agreed with the master of the ship to give 
them and their goods a passage to Russia in return for 
their work on board and a payment of 80 roubles. They 
had accumulated 2,000 lbs. weight of reindeer fat and 
quantities of furs and hides. They brought off also the 
poor tools by whose help they had been enabled to keep 
themselves alive. 

They arrived in safety at Archangel on September 28th, 
1749. Alexis Himkof's wife was present when the vessel 
came into port, and immediately recognised her husband. 
She was so overcome with joy and eagerness to touch him 
that she fell into the water and was nearly drowned. All 
three men on their arrival were strong and healthy. They 
could not reconcile themselves to eating bread, nor to the 
use of spirituous liquors, of which they had been so long 

Their adventures were noised abroad, and attracted 
much attention. Alexis and Ivan Himkof were sent for 
to St Petersburg, and took with them the tools they had 
made on the island. Their story was carefully examined 
by several persons, who became convinced of its verity. 
It was written down and published in German by P. L. Le 
Roy, Professor of History, and Member of the Imperial 
Academy of Sciences at St Petersburg. The pamphlet 
had a wide circulation, and was translated into English, 
French, Dutch, and (I believe) Italian, and published in 
numerous editions. 

There can be little doubt that the success of these men 
in holding out so long against such appalling odds did much 
to encourage the people of the White Sea to develop their 
Spitsbergen hunting industry. 


238 Russian Trappers 

The Russian ship that relieved the castaways was itself 
carrying up a party who had intended to winter in Novaja 
Zemlja but had changed their destination to Spitsbergen. 
No sooner did the castaways reach home than another 
ship was sent up with a wintering party to the same place 
on Edge Island where Himkof and his companions had 
lived so long. It was despatched by Count Schuwalow, 
who had received from Empress Elizabeth of Russia a 
charter for the northern whale-fishery 1 . The crew of this 
vessel reported that they found the hut, which appeared to 
have been recently inhabited. In front of the door was 
a cross with an inscription, stating that it had been set up 
by Alexis Himkof and calling the island "Alexeyiewskoi 

Judging from the number of ruined Russian huts still 
visible or recorded on all parts of the shores of Spitsbergen, 
it might be imagined that a considerable hunting population 
at one time inhabited the country. Such, however, was not 
the case. Daines Barrington in 1774 writes that "there 
are three or four settlements of Russians in Spitsbergen." 
That number was probably about the maximum at any one 
time. Keilhau states that the same site was not inhabited 
by Russians in two consecutive years, and that, even so, 
the wild animals and especially the walruses, grew to shun 
the neighbourhood of a Russian hut. Thus it came to pass 
that in process of time every considerable bay in Spitsbergen 
contained two or three Russian huts of different ages 2 . 

The trappers came from Mezen, Archangel, Onega, Rala, 
and other places on the White Sea 3 . They sailed in vessels 
of from 60 to 160 tons called "Lodjes." The normal crew 
of a lodja was 22 men, who were paid either by shares or 
wages. Those met by Bacstrom were paid by shares of 
the season's bag. A share was one-thousandth of the bag. 
The captain took 50 shares, the mate and surgeon each 30, 
the carpenter, boatswain, and cook 10 each, every common 
man and boy 1 share. This pay was generally enough 

1 Keilhau, p. 161. 

2 Passarge's Schwedischen Expeditionen, p. 355. 

3 Vide Colonel Beaufoy's Enquiries, printed as an Appendix to Daines 
Barrington's North Pole, London, 1818, p. 227. The answers to the enquiries 
were obtained from Archangel. They are the source of most statements about 
Russian trappers found in Scoresby and other writers of that period. 

The White Sea Fishing Company 239 

for a man to live on for a whole year ; more than enough in 
the case of the officers. 

Charitonow 1 , from whose most interesting account of the 
Russian trappers I now quote at length, states that the 
captain was paid 1000 paper-roubles and knew how to 
make a further handsome profit by selling stores to the crew. 
" With part of this profit he buys a cask of brandy and 
divides it amongst the crew and thus all are satisfied. An 
ordinary trapper receives for the voyage from 1 70 to 200 
paper-roubles, varying according to the results of the ex- 
pedition". About a week before he starts, he borrows from 
the owner of the ship, on account, some sixty roubles, and 
drinks and enjoys himself until he has only two kopecks 
left. Once more sober, he goes to the church, confesses, 
takes the Communion, and then starts at last, after offering 
up a short prayer for his journey." 

On their way to Spitsbergen they put in at "Wargajen 
or Wardohuus, where they renew their orgies till they are 
forcibly carried off by the Norwegians, at the request of the 
Skipper, and carried on to their Lodja." 

Such expeditions were usually sent out by private 
adventurers or by a company, like the " White Sea 
Fishing Company," which was at one time very prosperous. 
When the trade declined, the last adventurers to send forth 
expeditions w T ere the monks of the famous convent of Solo- 
vetskoy on the White Sea. Some settlements were almost 
permanently retained in Spitsbergen, the men going up one 
year being relieved by a fresh crew next season. Such was 

1 Die russischen Promyschleniks auf Grumant, in Erman's Archiv f. wiss. 
Kundc von Russland (Berlin, 1851), pp. 9, 154, 184. The translations here given 
were kindly made for me by Mrs W. Kemp Welch. 

2 "The Trappers are usually divided into three classes, according to their 
skill. To the first class belong the best shots and the cleverest ice-navigators, 
who bring most gain to the Ship-owner, and for that reason are paid handsomely 
by him — 100 silver roubles and more — to which must be added the skins which 
they receive from the Skipper as a bonus. A marksman of this class easily 
brings away 450 roubles as profit derived from his stay in Spitsbergen. The 
less skilful members of the expedition receive a much smaller reward — at the 
most 200 paper roubles. Their share of the skins, apportioned by the Skipper, 
is also less than that of the first class. The third, and last, class is made up of 
the novices, who make the journey for the first time, or who, through laziness, 
have only taken a small amount of booty. Such folk receive only 125 paper 
roubles, and do not share in the division made by the Skipper. There are 
even men in the expedition whose pay does not amount to more than 60 paper 
roubles." — Charitonow. 


240 Russian Trappers 

the Fairhaven establishment visited by Bacstrom. A ship 
left Archangel in May, reached Fairhaven in June or July, 
stayed there about three weeks to tranship cargo and crew 
and returned to Archangel. Frequently the trappers hauled 
their lodja on shore for the year of their stay, and dragged 
it down to the water when the time for their departure 
arrived. If the whole party died, as not seldom happened, 
the abandoned lodja was their monument ; it might be for 
years. The shores of Horn Sound and those of Wybe Jans 
Water (Titowa Guba, as the Russians called it) retained 
such tragic memorials till a relatively recent period. 

The voyage from the White Sea to Spitsbergen was 
a slow affair, and was reckoned, says Charitonow, to take 
on an average about 50 days. This slowness is not sur- 
prising when the lumbering character of the vessels is 
remembered, and the fact that the captains were usually 
simple peasants, with no knowledge how to take the simplest 
observation, no sounding-line, no clock, only a compass and 
a rough chart drawn by each pilot for himself 1 . One 
wonders how they ever arrived anywhere. We often hear 
of a lodja missing its way and reaching some part of the 
coast entirely unknown to every man on board. But a trifle 
of that kind was not disconcerting to these hardy fellows. 

They seem always to have carried up with them materials 
for building a head-quarters hut, as well as a number of 
smaller outposts. We only read of two stations as con- 
secutively inhabited for more than a single season — those 
at Whales Point or Keilhau Bay on Edge Island, and at 
Fairhaven. At Whales Point the huts were frequently re- 
built on slightly different sites, and it may have been the same 
at Fairhaven. The first work of every expedition, whereof 
we have record, was to build its Isbuschka, headquarters, 
or "establishment"; the next, either to build or to find out- 
post huts, often at considerable distances away. Thus 
outposts of the Whales Point Isbuschka were at Gotha 
Cove, Disco Bay, and Cape Lee as well as on the east 
shore of Decrow Bay and south-east coast of Edge Island. 
There were also huts on Ziegler Island, Andree Island, and 
others of the Thousand Islands, though some of these sites 
were occupied as head-quarters. The outpost huts were seven 

1 Erman's Archiv, Vol. xm. (1854), p. 261. 

The Trappers' Huts 241 

or eight feet square. The materials for them were carried 
along the shore in boats, or on hand-sledges, and set up in 
suitable positions. They were provisioned with food and 
fuel for the two or three men who were to occupy each 
of them. 

These miserably small huts, says Charitonow, rocked 
with every wind. Their interior presented a very luxury of 
dirt. "Reindeer and other fat stewing on the fire diffuses 
an intolerable smell ; hides hang in the Isba to dry, and the 
whole floor is covered with reindeer skins. Added to this 
in the dark winter time, an oil-lamp, fed with fish blubber, 
burns day and night. It is therefore scarcely to be wondered 
at that occasionally whole crews fall sick and die of scurvy. 
The business of a trapper begins with the hunting of the 
reindeer. From St John's Day to that of SS. Cosmo and 
Damian (27 September), they strive to lay in a large store 
of reindeer-flesh; the fat and hides are the property of the 
owner of the ship, but the flesh forms their winter food. 
From SS. Cosmo and Damian's Day to the Purification of 
the Virgin the sun never shines in Spitsbergen. 

"It will now be asked how the trappers employ them- 
selves during the winter. Can you picture to yourselves 
pale, emaciated men, with dull, unillumined eyes, sitting in 
a damp barrack, lighted by an oil-lamp ? Such are Arch- 
angel trappers in Spitsbergen during the long, dark night of 
winter. Like automata, each one ties a rope into an endless 
number of knots, and again unties it, and thus, now tying 
the knots, now undoing them again, spends nearly half the 
winter. At first sight, this pastime must seem strange, 
even ludicrous, but for the trappers it is a serious occupa- 
tion. Transported to the neighbourhood of the North Pole, 
about 330 miles away, not only from home, but from terra 
fir ma (that is to say the North Cape), they all suffer more 
or less, in summer as well as in winter, from scurvy 1 . Ac- 
cording to the reports of the trappers, the climate of Spits- 
bergen develops this sickness in an incredible way. There 
is a saying that, ' When one sleeps soundly twice succes- 

1 Russian peasants did not take scurvy so easily as men from Europe, be- 
cause their normal food was better adapted to resist it. The nature of their 
food at this time, its method of preparation, and its antiscorbutic properties are 
described by Dr Matthew Guthrie of St Petersburg in Philosophical Transac- 
tions, Vol. 68 (1778), pp. 622 et seq. 

C. CH. xix. 16 

242 Russian Trappers 

sively, scurvy is present' It is further said that on this 
island man is overcome with an irresistible inclination to 
sleep ; so in order to counteract this tendency, the trappers 
tie ropes in knots, and then undo them again. They un- 
pick the sheep's-wool patches of the halfskins, and then sew 
them together again. They are very particular that this 
is done continuously and without intermission. Only five 
hours out of the twenty-four are devoted to sleep in Spits- 
bergen. This accounts for the apparently purposeless 
occupation just described. 

"Five years ago a story was told from Denmark to 
Archangel, that in one encampment the bodies of eighteen 
men had been found, disfigured by scurvy and stiffened 
with cold. In Spitsbergen this is no rare occurrence. The 
old trappers relate that scurvy goes about there visibly, 
that is, in human form. It is an old woman, the eldest 
daughter of King Herod. She has eleven sisters, some of 
whom concern themselves with spreading scurvy over the 
island, whilst the others entice away the hunters in order 
eventually to lead them to destruction. The old woman 
and her sisters often appear to the men in stormy weather, 
when the wind whistles through the rocky mountains of 
Spitsbergen. They are seen then illumined by the pale 
glow of the Northern-lights, in which the eddying snow 
whirls through the air. They are heard chanting an awe- 
inspiring song, ' Here are no Church hymns, no ringing of 
bells. Here all is ours.' 

"According to the assertions of the trappers, the sisters 
of the old woman are of dazzling beauty. They often 
assume the form of the women dear to the trappers— their 
wives or betrothed ones, left behind on the Dwina — and 
appear to them in that form in their sleep. The enraptured 
hunter, wishful to prolong the sweet vision, withdraws from 
his comrades into the interior of the country and sleeps, 
lulled by delightful dreams. This, it is said, is the be- 
ginning of scurvy. The hunter's mates, observing his 
frequent absence and strange lethargy, do their best to 
re-arouse his relaxed energies, to which end they employ 
very strange means. They bind the sufferer firmly by his 
hands to the middle of a stake of a suitable length, which 
is grasped at each end by four sturdy Mujiks, and pulled 

Herod 's Daughters 243 

along by them at a running pace. The unfortunate patient, 
to avoid being dragged along the ground, is compelled to 
move his swollen legs with a tremendous effort. For an 
hour's sweet sleep he is ready to offer all he has in the 
world. He utters a cry of pain, and implores his tor- 
mentors to kill him outright, instead of torturing him to 
death. However, after two or three turns tied to the stake, 
he begins to feel better, and no longer begs his comrades to 
kill him, but entreats them to persevere with their efforts to 
restore him. Sometimes they take the sufferer to a high 
cliff, and hurl him thence into the snow. The unfortunate 
man only extricates himself from the deep snow by a great 
effort, but after three or four neck-breaking falls of this 
sort, he is on the way to recovery. 

"On the conclusion of the hunt, the trappers assemble 
at the Isbuschka, to hand over their booty to the skipper. 
When they have settled their account with him, they go to 
the southern shore, to gaze in the direction of home, and to 
pass the time gossiping. Their speech becomes fitful be- 
cause of the sound of a song which seems to come across 
the ocean. They look at each other with surprise ; but, 
before they have recovered from their astonishment, there 
suddenly flies past, close to them, a large twelve-oared 
shallop, which they distinctly recognise as the flight of 
the terrible old woman, who, with rudder in hand, sits 
in the stern of the shallop. Her sisters stand by her 
side, rowing merrily, and so beautifully clad and so lovely 
that one would fain leap from the shore into the boat to 
them. ' I will shoot the old woman. My gun is doubly 
charged. What do you say to that, skipper ? ' calls out one 
of the hunters, but, whilst looking round for the shallop, he 
dropped his gun. The lock struck the ice, and was broken. 
To so great an extent had the beauty of the rowing maidens 
disturbed the minds of the hunters. 'Push off, sisters,' said 
the old woman, ' here are tobacco and sour cranberries ' 
(a recognised antiscorbutic), 'here we have nothing to seek.' 
And the shallop disappeared. 

' We may be allowed to relate another story about these 
witch- sisters that can be heard from many an old trapper. 
' Forty versts east of the principal encampment stands a 
wretched hut, knocked together out of planks, and shaken 

ch. xix. 16—2 

244 Russian Trappers 

by every gust of wind. In this hut were two trappers, the 
elder of whom, in the last stage of this island's peculiar 
sickness, prepared himself for death, and whispered his con- 
fession to his companion, a youth barely twenty years of 
age, urgently beseeching him to bury him, when the end 
arrived, with prayers, and on his return home to have a 
mass said for him. For the trappers who die in Spits- 
bergen, Novja Zemblja, and other uninhabited islands of the 
ocean, never omit, if no priest is present, to confess, before 
death, to a comrade. Even when no one is with the dying 
man he confesses his sins to the earth. ' Mother, moist 
Earth, I have sinned in this and in that before God. 
Receive my sinful body into thy keeping.' 

"The night passed. In the early morning the youth 
carried the blue, swollen corpse of his comrade out of the 
Isba and buried it by scraping the earth aside. After the 
burial, he returned to the hut, and lighted the Jirnik. 
Alone in the Isba, fear came over him. How should he 
drive away evil thoughts ? Fortunately he possessed the 
art of playing the violin. He extinguished the Jirnik, laid 
down on the bed, and began to play and sing. Hardly had 
the last sounds of his song died away, when he heard in the 
hut stamping as in a dance, the clapping of hands, and 
laughter, but such beautiful, childish laughter, that the youth 
let his bow fall from his hand, and his heart stood still. 
The dance continued, and the laughter sounded ever louder 
and louder. Composing himself, he struck a light, but 
hardly had the sparks come from the tinder, when the 
dance and laughter stopped. He found himself once more 
alone in the Isba, whilst the storm howled through the 
waste of snow, and the dismal feeling of loneliness preyed' 
upon him more than ever. 'Very likely,' thought he, 
' Death is now looking in at the window, and beckoning to 
me.' In order to regain courage, he once more seized his 
violin, but first placed some fire in the birchwood Tujes, a 
round vessel with a wooden bottom and lid. ' As soon as I 
hear anything,' thought he, ' I will raise the lid, and the 
stranger shall not escape me again.' Then he commenced 
singing once more, and again he heard the dancing, hand- 
clapping, and such bewitching laughter that he no longer 
waited, but quickly raised the lid of the Tujes, and — before- 

The JVitch Wife 245 

him stood a maiden with sparkling eyes. The maiden 
looked shyly at him, but the youth trembled all over. He 
could not look away from those eyes, which sparkled like 
diamonds. The maiden dropped her head bashfully, and 
her long fair hair fell over her face. The hunter recovered 
himself at last. ' Do not be alarmed, fair charmer,' said he, 
'only once will I look into your eyes, even if it should 
prove my death.' 

" Encouraged by these words of the youth, the beautiful 
maiden raised her head, and looked fixedly at him. ' Be it 
as you will,' said she, 'since you have once looked on me, 
you can compel me to remain always with you. Neither 
will it be harmful for you to live with me, only you must 
never leave me, and never go away from here, otherwise 
misfortune will overtake you. I am powerful, and shall 
never let you leave me.' Either she was the good sister of 
the old woman, or the youth had pleased her. She tended 
him carefully, and guarded him against scurvy and every 
danger. When he went out hunting, she sent so many 
stone-foxes into his traps that he could hardly drag them 
back to the hut. If he wanted spirits to drink, before he 
had expressed the wish, there stood in the Isba a barrel of 
rum. In short, he had everything that his heart desired — 
enough to eat, enough to drink, a life without work, and, 
added to this, a beloved one whose like he could not have 
found in the whole wide world. But in spite of this, the 
hunter was drawn in thought over the sea to Russia, to 
his native shores. The longer he lived with the beautiful 
stranger, the more she became a burden to him. At last he 
began to fear her, whilst she always became more loving 
and more tender, and would not let him go from her side. 

" One day she came running into the Isba more quickly 
than usual. 'Rejoice, Wasilji,' said she, 'we shall soon 
have a son. Do not leave me, dearest. You have become 
melancholy. You turn away from me, and do not listen to 
me. But I am always the same.' ' Listen, beloved one,' 
began Wasilji, 'when I first saw you I thought to live with 

you for ever, but now — I am drawn away to Russia.' 

One day, when the wind blew strongly from the north, the 
sailors hastened to fill the Lodja with furs, blubber, eider- 
down, and the like. The Lodja was loaded, and the sails 


246 Russian Trappers 

were hoisted, and like an arrow she flew towards the North 
Cape. They had hardly gone ten versts from the Island 
when the crew suddenly heard such a piercing cry, that it 
deafened the storm of wind in the sails. They then saw 
something flying through the air on to the Lodja. It fell 
beside the helm of the Lodja, and was recognised as the 
child of Wasilji and the sister of the terrible old woman." 

The old woman was responsible for many a terrible 
tragedy during the long Spitsbergen winters. Here is a 
story which was told to Mr Lamont by one of his crew, but 
he does not state the year in which it happened 1 . 

" During the summer of the year in question, a pro- 
digious quantity of heavy drift-ice surrounded Whales Point 
and all the southern coast of East Spitsbergen. The men 
belonging to the Russian establishment had all come in 
from the various outposts, and were assembled at the head- 
quarters, waiting to be relieved by the annual vessel from 
Archangel. By a concurrence of bad fortune this vessel 
was lost on her voyage over, and was never heard of again. 
The crews of the other vessels in Spitsbergen knew nothing 
of these men or, if they did, they naturally supposed that 
the care of relieving them might safely be left to their own 
vessel, as nothing was yet known of her loss either there or 
at Archangel. The ice in the summer months prevented 
any vessel from accidentally approaching Whale-fish Point ; 
and no one went near it until the end of August, when 
a party of Norwegians, who had lost their own vessel, 
travelled along the shore to seek for assistance from the 
Russian establishment ; but on reaching the hut they were 
horrified to find its inmates all dead. Fourteen of the un- 
happy men had recently been buried in shallow graves in 
front of the huts, two lay dead just outside the threshold, 
and the remaining two were lying dead inside, one on the 
floor and the other in bed. The latter was the superin- 
tendent, who had been able to read and write ; and a 
journal lying beside him contained a record of their sad 

"It appeared that early in the season scurvy of a 

1 Lamont, Arctic Seas, p. 344. I suspect that this story really relates to the 
events in Red Bay in the winter of 1851-52, but I quote it as it was written, for 
the sake of the excellent telling of the tale. 

A Winter Tragedy 247 

malignant character had attacked them ; some had died at 
the out-stations, and the survivors had with difficulty 
assembled at the head-quarters station and were in hopes 
of being speedily relieved by the vessel ; but, the latter 
not arriving, their stores got exhausted, and the unusual 
quantity of ice surrounding the coast prevented them from 
getting seals or wild fowl on the sea or the shore. In 
addition to scurvy they had now the horrors of hunger to 
contend with ; and they gradually died one after another, 
and were buried by their surviving companions, until at last 
only four remained. Then two more died, and the other 
two, not having strength to bury them, dragged their bodies 
outside the hut to await their own fate ; and, when one of 
them died, the last man — the writer of the journal — had 
only sufficient strength remaining to push his dead com- 
panion out of the bed on to the floor, and he soon after 
expired himself, only a few days before the Norwegian 
party arrived. The Russians had a large pinnace in the 
harbour and several small boats on shore, but the ice at 
first prevented them from reaching the open sea, and 
latterly, when the ice opened out, those who survived so 
long were too weak to make use of the boats. The 
shipwrecked Norwegians took advantage of the pinnace to 
effect their own escape to Hammerfest, carrying with them 
the poor superintendent's journal, which the Russian consul 
at that port transmitted to Archangel." 

Another terrible winterers' tale is related by Scoresby 1 : 

"In the year 1 77 1, Mr Steward, of Whitby, formerly a 

Greenland captain, landed on a projection of low table-land, 

forming the S.W. point of King's Bay, for the purpose of 

procuring drift-wood for fuel Here the first wintering 

of the Russians, to the northward of the Foreland, had 
been attempted, their first hut having been built the pre- 
ceding year (1770). This hut having been seen by the 
party in search of wood, on their first landing, motives of 
curiosity led them to examine it. They hallooed as they 
approached it ; but no one appeared. The door being 
defended by a small open court, one of the party entered it ; 
and, applying his eye to the hole for the latch, observed 
a man extended on the floor, as he thought, sleeping. 

1 Arctic Regions, I. 145. 


248 Russian Trappers 

Receiving no answer to their shouts, they at length opened 
the door and found the man a corpse. His cheek, which 
was laid on the ground, was covered with a green concre- 
tion of mould ; and his covering, besides his clothes, was 
only a Russian mat. Several jackets and other articles of 
clothing were seen on a bench, on which the inmates 
appeared to have slept ; but no other individual, living or 
dead, was observed. It was supposed that his companions 
had shared the same fate, and had been buried by him, 
who, as the last survivor, had no one to perform the same 
kindly office on himself. The yawl belonging to the 
sufferers was found hauled up on the beach ; it was fully 
equipped with oars, together with mast and sail." 

Scoresby gives the following description of a hut on the 
north-west point of Prince Charles Foreland, which he 
visited in the year 1809 1 . He says it was the most com- 
fortable Russian hut he saw in Spitsbergen. 

" It was built of logs of half round timber, the original 
trees being slit up the middle : the round sides were put 
outwards, and the ends of the timbers, forming two adjoin- 
ing sides, stretched beyond the corner, and, being notched 
half way into each other, formed a close joint. The logs 
were placed horizontally, and were built into a rectangular 
form, about 14 ft. long, 10 broad, and 6 high. The seams 
were caulked with moss. Near the ground were two 
windows, of six panes of glass each, one on the east side, 
the other on the south. The roof, which was flat, was 
formed of deals and loaded with stones. A barrel without 
ends composed the chimney. To the north end of the 
building was attached a small square court, open at the top, 
having a doorway on the east side of it, communicating with 
and affording some shelter to the door of the hut." From 
the condition of the interior, which was stocked with 
utensils and food, including twenty ducks in a state of 
putrefaction, it was concluded that the " hut had been 
occupied by some Russian hunters, who, from the quantity 
of provisions left behind, seemed to have either perished 
prematurely, or had some intention of returning." As this 
hut was smaller than the usual head-quarters establishment, 
it was probably an out-station of the King's Bay or Cross 

1 Arctic Regions, I. 141. 

Bacstroms Account 249 

Bay head-quarters ; but it was much more solidly built than 
most out-stations of which we have record. 

The Russian head-quarters on the east shore of Mauritius 
or Dutch Bay 1 were visited by Bacstrom in 1780, and found 
in full occupation'-'. 

" The hut consisted of two large rooms, each about 
30 feet square, but so low that I touched the ceiling with 
my fur cap. In the middle of the front room was a circular 
erection of brickwork, which served as an oven to bake 
their bread, and bake or boil their meat, and at the same 
time performed the office of a stove to warm the room. 
The fuel employed was wood, which drives on shore plenti- 
fully in whole trees stripped of their branches. A chimney 
carried the smoke out of the roof of the hut ; but, when 
they wished it, they could, by means of a flue, convey the 
smoke into the back room, for the purpose of smoking and 
curing their reindeer flesh and tongues, bears' hams, etc. 
Round three sides of the front room was raised an elevated 
place of about three feet wide, covered with white bear 
skins, which served for bedsteads. The captain's bed- 
clothes were made of white fox skins sewed together ; the 
surgeon's were the same ; the boatswain, cook, carpenter, 
and the men had sheep-skins. The walls inside the room 
were very smooth and white -washed ; and the ceiling was 
made of stout deal boards, planed smooth and white- 

" The rooms had a sufficient number of small glass 
windows, of about 2 feet square, to afford light : the floor 
was hard clay, perfectly smooth ; the whole hut was nearly 
60 feet in length and 34 wide outside, and was constructed 
of heavy beams cut square, of about 1 2 inches thick, laid 
horizontally one upon the other, joined at the four corners 
by a kind of dove-tailing, caulked with dry moss, and payed 
over with tar and pitch, so that not a breath of air can 
penetrate : the roof consisted of thin ribs laid across the 
beam walls, and 3-inch deals nailed over them, so that you 
could walk on the top of the house. The roof was caulked 
and tarred, and perfectly tight. This is the manner of 

1 Vide Passarge, Sch. Exp. p. 356. 

2 In Pinkerton's Collection, Vol. 1. pp. 614-620. 


250 Russian Trappers 

building houses in the country in Russia, particularly about 

Of all parts of the Spitsbergen archipelago the one 
most frequently chosen by the Russian trappers was Edge 
Island and the small islands adjacent to it. The favourite 
spot for the head-quarters was near Whales Point, and it is 
to this that Charitonow's description applies. In the early 
years of the 19th century the life of the Russian winterers 
in the far north appears greatly to have interested certain 
people dwelling in civilized and comfortable regions. Col. 
Beaufoy, as we have seen, made somewhat minute enquiries 
into their mode of living, and I might quote a list of 
other writers, such as Pennant, who devoted attention to 
it. One such amateur was a certain Herr von Lowenigh, 
burgomaster of Burtscheid, in the Rhineland. In 1827 he 
was travelling in Finmark, where he met the Norwegian 
geologist Keilhau. At Hammerfest they also met two 
Englishmen, Dr Everest and another. All were anxious 
to visit Spitsbergen, but the Englishmen cried off when 
they saw the dirty little sloop they would have to sail in. 

Keilhau and Lowenigh accordingly sailed together, the 
former to make geological investigations, the latter to 
examine a Russian hunters' establishment. They tried first 
to reach Smeerenburg, in hopes there to meet Parry's expe- 
dition returning from the north ; but storm and ice drove 
them westward. They could not even enter Ice Sound. 
At length, on the morning of September 3rd, the fog lifted 
and showed them South Cape close at hand, and some of 
the Thousand Islands and Hope Island with its snowy 
mountain backbone very far away, but quite clear. They 
sailed slowly towards the Cape, and ultimately rowed ashore 
on an island in a small bay below a low cliff. On the top 
of the cliff stood two high Russian crosses, which were very 
old. A third lay on the ground. There was a stove on the 
flat ground below them, but no hut, and the place did not 
seem to have been inhabited for a long time. From South 
Cape they sailed across Wybe Jans Water to Decrow's 
Sound. They entered Keilhau Bay, in its north coast, 
near Whales Point. Within the bay to the eastward is a 
little cove admirably adapted to harbour small vessels. A 
tongue of land separates Decrow's Sound from Keilhau Bay 

The Edge Island Huts 251 

and the cove. The Russian establishment stood on this 
peninsula before a line of low cliffs. 

"It consisted," writes Keilhau, "of two separate 
dwelling-houses with several dependant buildings, all but 
two of which were built of solid timber, very differently 
from the big plank-sheds set up by the Russians on West 
Spitsbergen. The biggest of the dwelling-houses was about 
12 ells long, 8 broad, and 3 or 4 high. The roof was 
covered with a thick layer of earth and stones, and was 
almost flat. The floor of the room was the bare ground, 
with a bench all round and a gangway in the midst. Low 
above the bench were small windows, now without glass. 
In one corner of the barrack was a big stove and in the 
other a little cupboard, with the date 23 July, 1825, written 

on it in chalk The door of the dwelling-house gave 

access to a big porch with a plank floor. Another door led 
from the porch to a long room with a carpenter's bench, 
apparently a work-room. This was connected on one side 
with a little raised shed, a kind of store-room, and on the 
other with a bath-room, warmed by the closed side of the 
barrack's stove. 

"The second dwelling-house lay about 60 paces from 
the first and was similar in arrangement but much smaller. 
Over the entrance were inscribed these words, Si ja isba 
staroverska, meaning ' This house belongs to them of the old 
faith.' Both here and in the big house we found a number 
of household implements, etc., such as ski, stoneware pots 
and lamps, netting needles, playing-cards, a draught-board, 
shoe-lasts (one for a child), and a small wooden implement 
on a long handle to serve the purpose of a scratching 
machine. Against the second house was a newly-built 
porch, used also for a store-room. A loop-hole was con- 
trived in its outer door to spy the polar bears, which pay 
frequent visits to the establishment. A small hut stood 
alone by itself a few paces away. It contained a stove 
built of loose stones, and was the bath-room ' of them of 
the old faith.' We lived in it during our stay because it 
was most free of ice and had an almost perfect window. 
Twenty yards from the bath-house lay a fresh-water pond, 
with a plank-quay indicating the watering-place. 

' Behind, between the houses and the cove, stood five 


252 Russian Trappers 

crosses, 5 or 6 ells high, ornamented with quite tasteful 
carving, and furnished with dates and inscriptions, such as 
'This Cross was set up for the orthodox Christians to 
God's honour, 20 Aug. 1823'; another, 'This Cross was 
set up for the orthodox Christians to God's honour by the 
foreman Ivan Rogatschef in the year 1809.' One date 
seemed to be 1826. These crosses are commonly set up 
by the trappers at their arrival for a lucky hunting, or at 
their departure for a lucky voyage home. They were no 
small adornment to the place. Eight or nine old house- 
sites in the neighbourhood showed that other buildings had 
stood there. Some small raised mounds amongst these 
sites seemed to be graves. Round about the houses lay 
skeletons of bears and walrus, and many horns and bones 
of reindeer. There were also some boats, timber, and a 
quantity of casks. In many places in the neighbourhood 
we found ruins of small outpost huts at points good for 
hunting, which were daily visited by the hunters from head- 
quarters. We also found numbers of traps for foxes and 
bears...... A high watch-tower, built of loose stones, stood 

on the highest and most free-lying point of the establish- 
ment's peninsula." From this tower Keilhau had a splendid 
view of the east coast of the main island. 

The establishment seems to have been inhabited for the 
last time about 1850, when it is said that all the hunters 
died of scurvy. The place was visited and photographed 
by Lamont in 1858 1 . Only the huts of "them of the old 
faith" were then standing. "Some of the weapons, cook- 
ing utensils, and ragged fragments of clothes and bedding, 
lay scattered around. A great many skulls and bones of 
bears, foxes, deer, seals and walruses also, testified to their 
success as hunters. We likewise found a curious imple- 
ment, like a miniature wooden rake, the use of which was a 
complete enigma to me, until our pilot explained that such 
contrivances were commonly used by the Russians when 
they suffered from entomological annoyances." 

There was a 24ft. square hut, off which "was a small 
wing with a brick fireplace, evidently used as a kitchen. 
Another hut was a store-house, and a third a bath-house of 
a rude description." The roof of the main hut had fallen 

1 Lamont, A?xtic Seas, p. 346. 














IVijde Bay Huts 253 

in. "On a gentle eminence, two or three hundred yards 
from the huts, they had built a sort of look-out house of 

loose stones On a piece of level ground, not far from 

the huts, they had kept themselves in exercise by playing a 
game resembling cricket, as was evident by the bats and 
rude wooden balls they had used, still lying on the mossy 

"Altogether there was something inexpressibly sad and 
desolate about the remains of this unfortunate establish- 
ment : and by the rude Norwegian sealers the place is 
regarded with a degree of superstitious awe, which, perhaps, 
accounted for the huts being in such good preservation." 

There is yet one more little Russian hut of which a 
description has been preserved. It stood on the east shore 
of the remote Wijde Bay, close to the cove called Aldert- 
Dirkses Bay, where the Swedish expedition of 1861 saw it. 
It stood beside a little brook that emptied into a small, 
almost land-locked lagoon. The brook drained a lake, 
which in its turn was fed by a stream draining a higher 
lake enclosed by rocky walls. In all there are seven lakes 
close together in this neighbourhood. Flowers blossomed 
around them in the brief summers, and they formed a fore- 
ground to beautiful views in all directions, up, down, and 
across the gulf. The hut was 10 ells long, 4 broad, and 
less than 3 high. Its roof was flat. Within, it was 
divided into two rooms. A door in the north-west corner 
led to the outer room, full of casks and boards. From this 
a low door led to the inner room. There was a bench 
round the walls, a small window on the south, and a stove 
to the left of the door. Some implements were lying about, 
and there was a notched stick that had been used as a 
calendar. It showed that twenty-six weeks had been 
passed. The date 1839 was carved on a bench. Evi- 
dently this hut had served as a head-quarters in that year, 
and not been occupied since. 

There must have been a strange fascination about an 
arctic hunter's life for the people of the White Sea, or it 
would not have been possible to recruit them year after 
year, in spite of all the tragedies, frost-bites, and narrow 
escapes that they witnessed or experienced. One year 
eighteen men were sent forth. Twelve of them died and 


254 Russian Trappers 

only six returned home after terrible experiences, yet every- 
one of these six was ready to go back the first time he had 
a chance. Presumably the excitement of the chase was the 
great attraction. When a company had arrived in Spits- 
bergen, set up their head-quarters, and established their 
outposts, they began by hunting reindeer. To help them 
in the chase they used " trappers' dogs," a breed developed 
at Archangel. These dogs were also used to drag small 
sledges 1 , and to give notice of the approach of polar bears, 
which were frequently attracted to the huts by the smell 
of reindeer offal, and other filth that pervaded them. 
Sometimes the bears even tried to break into the huts when 
the men were asleep. The bears were afraid to cross the 
track of snow-shoes, but would attack an unarmed hunter, 
so that a man travelling alone always took his dog with him 
or carried a bundle of burning shavings. The dogs de- 
lighted in reindeer hunting. " Neither cliffs nor precipices 
restrain them. Barking with all their might, they pursue 
the game, whilst the trapper follows on snow-shoes. It is 
not an unusual event for both trapper and dogs to find 
their graves in an abyss. Still oftener the dog disappears 
into a cleft of the rock, in the heat of the chase, not per- 
ceiving the danger. The hunter then wanders round the 
icy chaos, listening to the howling of the wind in the 
mountainous ravine, and believes that he hears the barking 
of his dog, until he at last succeeds in once more reaching 
his place of encampment, where he blames ' the Spitsbergen 
Dog' for everything." 

The "Spitsbergen Dog" was a mythical beast, devoutly 
believed in by the Russian trappers. They said he was a 
proud and malignant creature. It was to pacify him that 
on their first landing they slew the male reindeer, as re- 
lated above, and flung his body on to the rock named "The 
Capless Lout's Head." He was said to live in the wild 
ravines of Spitsbergen, accompanied always by one of the 
Old Woman's sisters. Sometimes he was seen from the 
shallops. He rushed like the wind over the surface of the 
sea. He was as fond of drink as a trapper. When his 
supply of spirits ran out he rushed away to the North Cape, 
there to await the coming of the ships. Sending a violent 

1 Beaufoy's Enquiries. 

The Spitsbergen Dog 255 

south wind against them, he shattered their masts and 
wrecked the vessels. Then he towed away the floating 
rum-casks to his arctic island. 

Somewhere in the interior of Spitsbergen or Edge 
Island the trappers knew of a large cavern. This they said 
was the Dog's bath, where he bathed on Feast-days. It 
was believed that the bath was heated artificially, and men 
related that they had found the cave warm and the embers 
still glowing. To win the goodwill of the Spitsbergen Dog 
a man must go alone at the time of the new moon to a 
cave in the " Capless Lout's Head." At the entrance of 
the cave he must draw his knife, trace with it a circle round 
him on the ground, and plunge the knife into the earth 
outside the circle. He and he only would then hear a loud 
barking, and, at the midnight hour, a huge black dog would 
rush into the cave. The trapper, following the barking, 
still audible only to him, would then be able to find and 
shoot so many reindeer that it would be impossible for him 
to drag them all to his hut. The dog would also drive an 
innumerable quantity of foxes into the traps of a man to 
whom he was propitious, would cause whole flocks of geese 
to pass within easy range before the muzzle of his gun, 
and would show him the well-stored nests of countless 

But we must return to the ordinary avocations of the 
hunters. In some places, such as Cross Road and Green 
Harbour, they were provided with long nets which they 
used for capturing white whales, in the event of a school 
approaching their station in the open season of the year. 
They also killed seals if the chance offered, but they did 
not go out of their way to hunt them. As the dark days 
approached they set traps for foxes, sometimes as many as 
100 traps to a verst. This snaring was only practised in 
the winter, when the weather was mild enough to enable 
the traps to be reached without danger. Sometimes in 
hard weather the traps could not be inspected for a month 
or more at a time. 

The north wind in winter was a dreadful trial to the 
trappers. Their huts were generally placed beneath a 
cliff that sheltered them from it 1 . "They say," writes 

1 Pennant, Arctic Zoology, p. 147. 


256 Russian Trappers 

Charitonow, "that when it blows, it is impossible to go 
outside of the Isba. If a hunter finds himself, at such a 
time, 10 versts from his hut, nothing is left for him but to 
lie down and die of cold. The stone-foxes are only caught 
in calm weather, when the moon is shining, and the stars 
are sparkling. In the dark period of the year, reindeer also 
are shot, but in winter-time reindeer hunting is as difficult 
as it is dangerous : difficult, because one must be specially 
skilled to. follow them over a more or less hilly, undulating 
plain in snow-shoes ; dangerous, because the eager hunter, 
heated by rapid movement through the strong wind, either 
lies down tired and is often frozen to death, or else falls 
headlong over a mountain precipice of unexplored depth. 
In the winter, therefore, reindeer hunting is rarely pursued. 
It is an autumn pastime. 

"It is thus seen that life, during the winter, does not 
offer much variety to the trappers in Spitsbergen. Of 
course they also shoot polar bears now and then, but only 
when they chance to come upon them. They do not look 
for these animals on the snow-covered coasts of the island, 
but if one comes within range of their guns, it helps to 
increase their winter's store of food. As soon as ever a ray 
of sunshine shows itself on the tops of the mountains — this 
happens at the time of the Feast of the Purification 
(Feb. 2nd) — the trappers awake as it were from their 
winter's sleep, and, after offering up a prayer, push off from 
the shore in their shallop, in order to catch sea animals. 
When one beholds these wretched shallops one trembles 
for the hunters. A miserable boat, \\ to 2 Sajene long, 
manned by 12 men, and steered by a Mujik, often proceeds 
fifty versts out to sea. If a strong contrary wind blows, 
the bold hunters must either perish in the waves, or be 
crushed to death between the ice-floes ! 

" But the Spitsbergen voyagers do not allow themselves 
to be so easily intimidated by dangers. When I asked a 
Mujik whether it was not worth considering, that, by 
venturing in a boat 50 versts and more from land, he was 
risking his life, the grey-bearded old man answered me in 
the usual laconic manner of the peasants of this govern- 
ment, ' It would require very different waves to make the 
Spitsbergeners fear the ocean.' The trappers themselves 

White Whales 257 

relate that the sailors sometimes find shallops near Spits- 
bergen adrift at sea, with their crews frozen to death. 
' What is done with them ? ' I asked. ' The bodies are 
thrown into the sea, and the shallop is repaired,' was the 

"On setting out, these hardy hunters provide them- 
selves with a week's supply of bread, even if they only 
intend staying out for a day. When the north wind blows, 
they warm themselves by rowing, and relieve the skipper 
in turns. In this way they sail round the bays, and shoot 
many kinds of sea animals, walruses, hares (?), seals (plwca 
vitulina), and others. White whales are only very occa- 
sionally killed. One must be an excellent shot to hit these 
animals, which come up out of the water and disappear 
again in an instant. The trappers cannot take out with 
them the large nets with which they are caught in other 
places. Polar bears also are shot on these voyages, 
although they are extraordinarily courageous in the water, 
whilst on land they flee before the distant baying of the 
dogs, and will not venture to cross the track of a snow-shoe. 
After the first bullet wound the bear makes straight for the 
shallop, and woe to the hunters if they do not get away 
quickly. Putting his paws on the edge of the boat, the 
bear turns it over, and then this gentleman of the polar sea 
knows very well how to be ready for the trappers. 

"The fur-hunters relate that a party of trappers once 
brought home a load of whales' teeth, although none of the 
men could boast of having killed a single whale ; but in an 
inlet of the island they had found 30 whales, not long dead, 
lying together in a heap. Schools of white whales thus 
stranded and killed have been found more than once on the 
shores of Spitsbergen even in modern times 1 ." 

After a year spent in the bleak regions of the north, the 
return home was a joyous event, thus described by Chari- 
tonow from his own observation : " Do you see that Lodja 
steering towards the harbour on the Dwina ? On the deck 
stand eight Moujiks, who snap their fingers, and smack 
their tongues, and whistling and laughing strike up a song. 
In the fore-part of the Lodja is seen an old man with a 
grey beard, who holds a cap in one hand, and stretches both 

1 See Nathorst, Tva Somrar. 
C. CH. XIX. 17 

258 Russian Trappers 

hands out over the water, not singing meanwhile, but rather 
howling and roaring, interrupting the singing of the others 
with impassioned voice. The crew comes from Spits- 
bergen. The singing Moujiks are happy trappers. In the 
middle of September they generally sail away from the 
island. They are alb neatly, almost elegantly dressed. 
Only one of them is conspicuous by the simplicity of his 
costume. This is the skipper, who, instead of making a 
show with a fine smock frock and red Norwegian belt, 
keeps his money in his pocket. 

" The arrival of the trappers is quickly made known in 
the villages at the mouth of the Dwina. After they have 
cast anchor in the harbour, and offered up a prayer of 
thanksgiving, the crew, led by the skipper, hasten to the 
ship's owner. This latter has flounders, salmon, and other 
delicate kinds of fish brought, as well as a large cask of 
brandy, and invites the voyagers to a feast, whilst his 
labourers unload the lodja. The repast and the brandy 
drinking last until every one of the guests is lying under 
the table. After they have slept themselves sober, they 
begin again, and do not stop until the cask is emptied. 
When this is accomplished they go off, satisfied with having 
seen the bottom of the cask. After the trappers have re- 
ceived their pay from the ship-owner, they return to their 
own villages, and live, as long as the money lasts, revelling. 
When their money is spent they all go back to their former 
work, and resume their normal activity." 

The trappers were very brave men, as the people of this 
country generally are. Pennant 1 records that they were 
excellent marksmen. "In presenting their piece," he says, 
"they do not raise it to their shoulder, but place the butt- 
end between their arm and their side, fixing their eye on 
the object toward which they direct the barrel." Charitonow 
says that they were an honest people. " Each year a not 
inconsiderable portion of the gains they bring home from 
Spitsbergen is presented to the church of the parish to 
which they belong. Brandy, and brandy alone is their 


The mortality amongst the trappers must have been 
very great, even when scurvy did not sweep them away 

1 Arctic Zoology, p. 147. 

Their known Settlements 259 

wholesale. Few were frozen to death, says Pennant, but 
many were badly frostbitten, so as to lose their toes and 
fingers. When a trapper died in Spitsbergen his body was 
laid in the ground, if possible, or hidden in some cleft in a 
rock. Bodies found in the snow or on the surface of the 
ground were believed to be those of heretics. A trapper 
told Charitonow that he had himself found such a body in a 
mountain gorge. " There lay a Mujik with a red beard, 
clothed in a blue smock-frock. I pressed his forehead with 
the butt-end of my piece and it fell to pieces like dry 
wood." In the neighbourhood of almost every Russian 
hut one finds graves to the present day, but it is difficult 
to distinguish between them and graves of whalers and 
seamen, of which there are countless multitudes all round 
the Spitsbergen coasts. 

At the risk of prolixity I will here set down the geo- 
graphical position of all the Russian huts on Spitsbergen, 
whereof I have been able to find record, beginning on the 
east side of Wybe Jans Water and going westward round 
the main island. 

On Anderson's Islands near Barents Land there are 
traces of a settlement, as I was informed in 1896 by a Nor- 
wegian who had seen them. The great settlement in Keilhau 
Bay and others on neighbouring islands have been men- 
tioned above 1 . Heuglin records the ruins of a Russian 
head-quarters on Andree Island, where a well-preserved 
bath-hut, built of blocks of hyperite, was standing in 1870 2 . 
A head-quarters on Ziegler Island was visited by Lamont 3 . 

Of Russian huts on the west shore of Wybe Jans Water 
I can find no record, though doubtless several existed. 
There was an important head-quarters on South Cape or 
one of the neighbouring islands. Scoresby, Keilhau, and 
Lamont saw huts there; one dated 1784. It was at this 
place that in 18 18 the winterers slew no less than 1200 

1 See Passarge, p. 453; Lamont's Sea-Horses, pp. 104, 105, 109; and other 
authorities quoted above. 

2 Heuglin, 1. p. 256. 

3 Arctic Seas, p. 348. "The ruined huts still remained. There had been a 
large, oblong building and two smaller ones, placed back to back. The walls, 
4 ft. thick, filled in with rubble, and made tight inside with plaster and moss, 
seemed very old ; the plants inside grew as luxuriantly as outside. Around 
were strewn loose timbers and whales' bones." This may have been the ruin of 
a Dutch or English whalers' cookery. 

CH. XIX. . 17—2 

260 Russian Trappers 

walruses besides quantities of other beasts, an unusually 
successful voyage 1 . At the entrance to Horn Sound, ap- 
parently by Isbiorn Haven, was a head-quarters, whereof 
well-preserved remains were seen by the Swedes in 1861 
and 1 864/, as well as many skeletons. There were two 
outpost huts for five men each and ruins of others in different 
parts of Horn Sound. I myself saw the remains of a Russian 
hut on Hofer Point in 1897 3 . There was also a settlement 
on the Dun Islands. 

Bell Sound was a great Russian centre 4 , and various 
head-quarters were established on its shores at different 
times. The most frequented situation was the west side of 
Recherche Bay, four or five miles in from its mouth. On 
Axel Island was another and older head-quarters. Out- 
posts are recorded in Low Sound, Sardam Bay, and at the 
mouth of Bell Sound, probably on Low Ness 5 . 

In Ice Sound the chief settlement was at Green Harbour 
and westward of it in a small valley, containing two lakes, 
which is still called by the Norwegians Russekeilen. Here 
Starashchin died. A little cove close to Green Harbour 
was a great place for catching white whales. In many parts 
of Ice Sound the remains of huts are still visible. In 1896 
we found traces of a hut on the low promontory between 
Dickson and Ekman Bays. Another stood on Deadman 
Point. Heuglin records seeing the ruins of many Russian 
huts at Advent Point, as well as a Norwegian hut which 
was still standing and occupied in 1870. The Tourist-hut 
was built on the site of it in 1896. A few miles west of 
Advent Bay, Heuglin also found many traces of a big 
Russian settlement and a number of traps". 

Keilhau knew of a great Russian head-quarters on the 
south point of Prince Charles Foreland, where were many 
great crosses and graves. Scoresby saw a hut on the 
north-west point of the Foreland, as related above. There 
were other huts down its east side. In 1827 some Russian 

1 Keilhau, p. 236; Lamont's Sea-Horses, p. 21, etc.; Scoresby's Arctic 

a Passarge, pp. 356, 448. 

3 See my book, With Ski and Sledge. 

4 They called it Klanbay, or Klanbaiskaja Guba, for Klok Bay. 

5 See Keilhau; also G. F. Miiller, p. 17. 

6 Heuglin, I. 273, 280. 

Their Huts 261 

huts were still standing in St John's Bay 1 . There appears 
also to have been a settlement or outpost in English Bay. 

King's and Cross Bays were much frequented by Russian 
trappers. Scoresby records a hut on Quad Hook. I found 
the ruins of one at Coal Haven in 1897'". At Cross Road 
was a great Russian head-quarters afterwards used by Nor- 
wegians in 1822. In Hamburg Bay was an outpost of the 
Cross Bay head-quarters. Beechey 3 also records a head- 
quarters establishment there or in the neighbouring small 
Basques Bay. A Russian head-quarters was set up in 
Magdalena Bay about 1827, according to Keiihau ; its ruins 
were seen in 1896. Beechey saw a Russian head-quarters 
in Robbe Bay. Fairhaven was a favourite Russian hunting 
ground for some years. The situation of the head-quarters 
seems to have been on the mainland opposite Smeerenburg 4 . 
It was inhabited for many seasons between 1770 and 1823. 

The north coast was likewise occasionally settled on by 
Russian trappers in the first half of the 19th century. A 
great tragedy happened to a party in Red Bay in 1850-51. 
Perhaps their hut was the one whose ruins were visible on 
Biscayers Hook up to 1896. Beaufoy was informed that 
the Russians had frequented Liefde Bay, but that they 
never took their lodjes beyond it, though they went in 
their shallops as far as North-east Land. On the west 
shore of Liefde Bay are ruins of a large Russian establishment. 
Later, perhaps, they ventured farther east in their sloops, for 
considerable-sized huts were built in Mossel Bay and Aldert 
Dirkses Bay 5 , and outpost huts existed at several points in 
Wijde Bay. The most remote huts I have been able to 
hear of were on the Ryss Islands, and Hyperite Island in 
Hinloopen Strait, on Cape Roos (standing in 1896), and at 
unidentified points on the north coast of North-east Land 6 . 

The foregoing account of the doings and sufferings of 
the Russian trappers has been put together from a number 
of scattered references and incidental statements. It has 

1 Keiihau, p. 240. 

- See John Laing's Voyage, and my With Ski and Sledge ; also Scoresby's 
Arctic Seas, and Keiihau, p. 240. 

3 p. 185. See also Keiihau, p. 242. 

4 See Bacstrom, quoted above; Passarge, p. 356; Beechey, p. 185; and 
Keiihau, p. 243. 

5 See above, and Passarge, p. 356. 

G Passarge, p. 356. See also my First Crossing of Spitsbergen. 


262 Russian Trappers 

been impossible to write a connected history of the growth 
and decline of this strange industry, owing to lack of 
materials for it. Perhaps a Russian student may some day 
unearth records preserved in the archives of the Monastery 
of Solovetskoi or some town of the White Sea, which may 
enable him to call back to life the strange actors in these 
arctic dramas, whose figures flit so vaguely across our vision 
in the long polar nights. The best that I could do was to 
compile the foregoing general account of the trapping in- 
dustry, and now to complete it with brief mention, in their 
chronological sequence, of such events as we know to have 
happened in Spitsbergen to the Russian huntsmen and their 
Norwegian rivals and successors. 



After the return of the castaways in 1743- 1749 we 
hear absolutely nothing of the Russians in Spitsbergen till 
1 764. The expeditions doubtless succeeded one another 
but neither successful nor tragic issue of any is recorded. 
In 1764, however, Empress Catharine II of Russia sanc- 
tioned the despatch of an arctic expedition. For years 
Russian statesmen had been conscious of the importance of 
finding a sea-route to the far east, if it were possible. The 
North-east passage, however, seemed always to be blocked, 
so that it was now determined to try whether an open route 
might not be discoverable yet further north, by way of 
Greenland or Spitsbergen. It is worth notice that the 
various arctic expeditions sent out by different countries or 
societies have been different in character, according to the 
special industries or occupations of the sending countries 
or societies. This Russian expedition had to some extent 
the characteristics of a White Sea trappers' journey. The 
English expedition of Phipps was a kind of glorified whaling 
voyage under naval auspices, with the whale-hunting left 
out. The Swedish expeditions of the 19th century re- 
sembled the voyages of Scandinavian summer-season hunters 
in their sloops. Dr Nansen's arctic journeys were con- 
ditioned by the use of ski and were based on the ski-running 
sports of the Norwegian wintertide. My own explorations 
of the interior of Spitsbergen were the outcome of Alpine 
climbing and were in the nature of mountain and glacier 

Those responsible for organising the Russian polar 
expeditions of 1765 and 1766 deemed it well to provide the 

CH. XX. 

264 Tschitschagof 

ships with an arctic base, well stored with all manner of 
supplies 1 . Accordingly in 1764 Lieut. Michael Nemtinof 
and others were sent off in five small vessels to convey ten 
wooden huts to Spitsbergen and there set them up and fill 
them with stores. The huts were planted on the right 
hand of the entry into Recherche Bay ; how far in we are 
not told. At that time Recherche Bay was not a hunter's 
station. The nearest huts are stated to have been 20 miles 
distant. Possibly Axel Island is meant, though that is only 
1 1 miles from Recherche Bay. Axel Island is known to 
have been the first Russian head-quarters site in Bell 
Sound, and was probably exchanged for Recherche Bay 
after this expedition. Nemtinof reached Bell Sound on 
August 5th, and built five dwelling-houses, each consisting 
of two rooms, an outer and an inner. He also built bath- 
houses and store-houses. He sailed away on August 21st, 
leaving Moisei Ryadin and 16 men behind to winter. No- 
thing is said about any scientific observations to be made by 
them, nor is it easy to assign a reason for their having been 
left, unless it was to make a Government settlement for the 
purpose of asserting Russian sovereignty over Spitsbergen, 
or perhaps to examine the suitability of Spitsbergen for 
Samoyede colonisation. 

The main Russian expedition sailed in May, 1765. It 
consisted of three new ships, specially built at Archangel 
under the direction of an Englishman. They were two- 
masted, and adapted to be rowed if necessity arose. They 
were named Tschitschagof, Panof, and Babojef, after their 
respective captains. Tschitschagof was in general command. 
Following the directions of a chart drawn by Nemtinof, 
they reached Bell Sound on June 16th. Ryadin at once 
came on board from the settlement with news that all the 
winterers were well, though some had been sick. After 
more than a fortnight had been spent at Bell Sound the 
ships sailed on July 3rd to pursue their mission to the north- 
ward. They accomplished nothing of importance. They 
sailed to and fro amongst drift ice, sometimes in sight of 
land, sometimes not. This kind of work soon tired them. 
On the 6th of August they were back again at Archangel. 

1 There is a short, clear account of this expedition in William Coxe's Russian 
Discoveries, 4th edn., London, 1804, 8vo, pp. 398 et seq. 

His second Expedition 265 

Next year, 1766, Tschitschagof was again sent to the 
arctic regions. He sailed on May 19th and reached Bell 
Sound on June 21st. Firing a gun to inform the winterers 
of his arrival he received no answer. Ryadin and his 
surviving companions were away on a hunting trip to the 
Dun Islands. Eight graves contained the bodies of the 
rest. Three days later Ryadin returned. He said that all 
the company had suffered from scurvy. The lazy men died 
and the active ones recovered. They had received help 
from the trappers, whose encampment lay 30 versts (20 
miles) away. The trappers were 12 in number and came 
from Danilowa Pustynja. The officer, Bornewolokof, was 
sent to visit them on the 26th and came back on the 27th. 
On the 30th Tschitschagof sailed for the north. He was 
away a month, during which time he reached only 8o° 28', 
a few leagues north of Cloven Cliff. He found the ice 
packed fast against Grey Hook and so returned. If he had 
waited longer he would have found better conditions ; for 
an English whaling skipper named Robinson took his 
vessel, the Reading, so far to the north of Hakluyt's Head- 
land in open sea, that with a fair wind and sailing due south, 
it took him 24 hours to reach the headland. By dead 
reckoning he concluded that he had been in latitude 
82 30' N. 1 

On July 31st Tschitschagof was in Bell Sound again. 
He took Ryadin and his companions off, and embarked all 
the remaining stores that were in good condition. He 
measured the height of Observatory Hill (1896 ft.). He 
noticed the frequent calving of the great glacier. On 
August 7th he sailed for home, leaving three dwelling-huts, 
one bath-house, and one store-house standing. These huts 
were probably used by trappers in after-years. 

Half a century of hunting in the southern and western 
parts of Spitsbergen had probably begun to frighten away 
the beasts, and the necessity of opening new ground was 
felt. Thus the Russians gradually crept to the north and 
then eastward along the north coast till the supply of animals 
was reduced beyond the paying point. In the winter of 
lyjo-yi, as already stated, Russian trappers settled for 

the first time north of the Foreland. Thev built their head- 


1 Daines Barrington's North Pole. 

CH. XX. 

266 Rtissiau Trappers 

quarters in King's Bay. All members of the expedition 
died. In the winter of 1772-73 another Russian party 
wintered somewhere near the Foreland. Phipps' expedition 
heard that they were 15 in number and that 10 died. The 
Old Woman and her Sisters were busy in those days. 

The record of a great misfortune in 1774 reveals that 
the hunting of seals was an industry vigorously pursued in 
the arctic seas at that time. No less than 54 ships were 
fitted out for it this year alone. Most of them sailed from 
Hamburg, but several were English. Jan Mayen was about 
the centre of the best sealing waters then, but the seals 
were also killed in great numbers near the Spitsbergen 
coasts. A violent storm overtook the sealing fleet this year 
at the borders of the ice about 60 miles east of Jan Mayen. 
Many ships were wrecked and some 400 foreign and 200 
British seamen lost their lives 1 . 

In 1779 the Russian trappers were in occupation of Fair- 
haven. Next year their head-quarters, opposite Smeeren- 
burg, were visited by Bacstrom, whose description of the 
building has been quoted above. He was surgeon on board 
the whaler, Rising Sun, which was anchored off Smeeren- 
burg in July. Bacstrom and Captain Souter with a dozen 
sailors rowed away one fine day to see the Russians, for 
whom they took a nice lot of presents. 

"We landed at the bottom of the harbour to the east- 
ward," he writes, "where we found a large valley, several 
miles in breadth, surrounded with immense high mountains, 
mostly covered with snow ; but as the sun had melted a part, 
the brown and black rock appeared, and rivulets of clear 
water ran down, forming little waterfalls. We crossed a 
piece of ground where the Dutch had formerly buried their 
dead; three or four of the coffins were open, with human 
skeletons lying in them. Some inscriptions on boards, of 
which above 20 were erected over the graves, had the years 
1630, 1640, etc., affixed to them. We also saw the ruins of 
some brickwork, which had been a furnace." The place 
where they landed and where these ruins were found was 
the south-east angle of Mauritius or Dutch Bay. From 
this point "we had above six miles to walk to the north- 
ward, and were very much fatigued on account of the un- 

1 Scoresby, Arctic Regions, 1. 513. 

Bacstroni s Account 267 

evenness of the ground and the heat, when we discovered 
the hut of the Russians at a distance. They perceived our 
approach, and sent two or three people to meet and welcome 
us. The common men made a strange appearance; they 
looked very much like some Jews in Rag-fair or Rosemary 
Lane. They wore long beards, fur caps on their heads, 
brown sheep-skin jackets with the wool outside, boots, and 
long knives at their sides by way of hangers." 

They were kindly received by the Russians, to whom 
they offered presents of gunpowder, cheese, etc., and from 
whom they received white fox skins, and smoked reindeer 
tongues and ribs — most excellent eating. They had a feast, 
drank healths, and enjoyed themselves. The Russian and 
English surgeons had a race on ski. They ran six or seven 
miles in an hour without fatiguing themselves. 

"Before we left our Russian host, he informed us that, 
a few weeks before, they had, on coming home from a 
shooting party, found an English captain and nine or ten 
men overhauling their property in the hut. The captain, 
finding that his chest had been broken open, and that his 
roubles were diminished considerably, reproached the Eng- 
lish commander with the robbery, and a battle ensued. 'The 
English fired upon us,' said the surgeon, who acted all along 
as interpreter, 'and killed one of our men on the spot. We 
returned the fire and wounded some of his men, and caused 
them to retreat precipitately. When the English had gone, 
our captain counted his roubles, and found that there were 
600 missing.' He intended to send a statement of the 
affair to the Russian Government. After having stayed 
above 12 hours with the Russians, highly entertained, we 
invited them to come to see us on board, and took our 
leave, returning the same way by the compass, and ar- 
rived safe on board, after having been absent almost 18 

A difficulty arising out of this account is to identify 
the position of the hut. At first this seems easy. They 
landed in the S.E. corner of Mauritius Bay at the 
mouth of a wide valley and then walked N. {i.e. along 
the shore) for over six miles to the hut, which must thus 
have been situated almost opposite Smeerenburg, as Keilhau 
also thought and as others record. It must have been on 

CH. xx. 

268 Russian Trappers 

the mainland, for it is impossible to walk six miles north 
from any point on the shore of any of the Fairhaven 
Islands. But as they apparently were anchored near 
Smeerenburg, why did they row to the bottom of the bay 
and then walk back six miles N. instead of rowing straight 
to the hut ? They returned by the way they had come. 
If that was straight along the shore, why did they require 
to guide themselves by a compass in quite clear weather ? 
They would not need a compass to guide their boat in 
Mauritius Bay, which is surrounded by land, all points being 
easy to identify. If it be suggested that the Russian hut 
was six miles inland the answer is that that is impossible, as 
all Russian head-quarters had to be close to a good anchor- 
age for a lodja. 

During the remainder of the 18th century our informa- 
tion about the Russians is most meagre. A hut at South 
Cape, seen by Scoresby in 1816, bore the date 1784, which 
accounts for one wintering. Keilhau and Lowenigh record 
that in 1795 a small expedition was sent to Spitsbergen by 
a Hammerfest merchant in partnership with a Russian. 
They hunted and fished, and apparently wintered. This 
is the first wintering in which Norwegians are known to 
have taken part. Russian trappers were seen by Scoresby 
in King's Bay in 1806. They visited his ship, and Surgeon 
John Laing records that "during the time they were on 
board, and particularly while at meat, they behaved with a 
decorum and gentleness which could hardly be expected 
from their grotesque appearance." 

The record of the trappers is again a blank till 181 8, in 
which year the English ships Dorothea and Trent, com- 
manded by Buchan and Franklin, when in Magdalena Bay 
were boarded by Russians from Hamburger Bay. An officer 
of the Dorothea went back with them to see their establish- 
ment. " They had here a comfortable wooden hut, well 
lined with moss, divided into three compartments ; in one 
of which there were three carcasses of fine venison and many 
wild ducks. ..This is one of the few remaining establishments 
at Spitsbergen still upheld by the merchants of Archangel ; 
who, during the last century, and under the auspices of the 
Russian Government, formed a settlement in Bell Sound 
upon this coast, and who still send annually a small vessel 

Crowe s Establishment 269 

to bring home the peltry and sea-horse teeth that have been 
collected by their servants during the year 1 ." 

In this same year 18 18, or in 18 19, a party of Russians, 
who intended to winter at Ice Sound or Bell Sound, were 
prevented by ice from arriving at those stations. They 
settled at South Cape instead and made the great slaughter 
of walruses already recorded above. The Russians were 
as yet far from thinking of abandoning Spitsbergen. Indeed 
a Russian naval officer in this very year 18 19 reported that 
seal and bear hunting at Spitsbergen had of late paid 
better than at Novaja Zemlja, owing to the ice conditions 
that had prevailed". 

An Englishman, named Crowe, who was British Vice- 
consul at Hammerfest, had a mercantile establishment there, 
and traded in arctic produce. Crowe was the real founder 
of the Norwegian hunting industry in Spitsbergen, which is 
still maintained, though with steadily decreasing profit. In 
1819 Crowe sent a sloop with eleven men to make trial of 
the hunting at Bear Island and Spitsbergen. They visited 
the south bays of the west coast and brought back a good 
account of the walrus and reindeer hunting and of the eider- 
down that might be collected. The expedition was re- 
peated in 1820, under the leadership of a tailor named 
Fallengriin, who seems to have been a well-known character 
at Hammerfest 3 . It was this expedition, I believe, that 
revealed a tragedy which happened to a party of Russian 
trappers, who had passed the previous winter in Horn Sound. 
The Norwegians found a stranded lodje on the beach 
near the huts, but no men about. On landing they were 
horrified to discover ten corpses lying in a big box in which 
they had been buried. "The bears had dug them out again. 

1 Beechey, p. 59. See also Coxe's Russian Discoveries. 

2 See Malte-Brun. 

3 Sir A. de C. Brooke, who spent part of the winter of 1820-21 at Hammer- 
fest, describes Crowe as a young English merchant living at Fugleness, opposite 
Hammerfest, where he had recently settled to trade. He had established a 
settlement at Bear Island on the plan of the Hudson's Bay Company. En- 
couraged by that he had since despatched 30 persons and a leader to three 
different parts of Spitsbergen, where houses had been previously erected — Horn 
Sound, Ice Sound, and Smeerenburg Bay. In the autumn of 1820 Mr Colquhoun 
had recently returned from an expedition to the Spitsbergen coasts to try the 
power of the Congreve rocket against finner whales {A Winter in Lapland and 
Sweden, London, 1827, 4to, pp. 130 et sea. See also Keilhau, pp. 233 etseg., and 

CH. XX. 

270 A Spitsbergen Tragedy 

Two more bodies were covered by a mat. Of them little 
was left. In the hut lay a corpse half devoured by foxes. 
Scattered bones were all about. Some circumstances 
seemed to indicate that that unlucky expedition had been 
ready to go home when it was fallen upon and plundered 
by freebooters 1 ." Such was the story as told to Keilhau 
in 1827. In 1861 the Swedish expedition saw the remains 
of the hut well-preserved. The expedition of 1864 found 
nine skulls lying about. By that time the legend had 
grown and it was asserted that the freebooters were an 
English crew which had never been brought to justice 2 . 

In 1896 a Hammerfest ice-master told me what was 
probably a yet further development of the same tale. I 
wrote it down from his lips. "The story," he said, "is 
written down and printed. It is well known in Hammerfest 
and Tromso. I once read it and have often heard it told, 
but I do not now remember all the details. It was, at all 
events, to this effect. There was at Hammerfest a skipper 
named Andersen, by birth a Dane, but regularly settled in 
Hammerfest. This year — it may have been fifty years 
ago, or more — he sailed with his sloop in the spring, and 
came in June to the Dun Islands. Now the Russians had 
been very successful in their winter trappings and they had 
a great quantity of skins, which Andersen saw and coveted. 
He thought it would be cheaper to take them than to buy 
them, so he just killed the Russians, who were weak, and 
took their stuff away. He killed them with a harpoon on 
which was his name, and, when he went off, he forgot the 
harpoon and left it behind. Shortly afterwards the skipper 
Stuer of Tromso came that way with his sloop, and he too 
landed on the Dun Islands and found the bodies of the 
murdered Russians, and in one of them Andersen's harpoon 
sticking, so he knew what had happened. He sailed away 
and met Andersen's sloop, and went on board and talked 
with Andersen, who suspected that Stuer had found him 
out, though nothing was said. At all events, Andersen was 
afraid, and considered how he might be rid of Stuer. 

" They sailed on, hunting along the edge of the ice-pack, 
and one day, when they were very far from land and Stuer 

1 Keilhau, p. 237. 

2 Passarge, pp. 356, 448. 

The Murderer s End 271 

was away from his sloop in his walrus-boat, Andersen went 
on to Stuer's sloop and managed to do it some harm, so 
that presently it seemed to be sinking. Then he went 
again to the sloop and rescued Stuer's wife and the people 
on board and sailed away with them to Hammerfest ; for, 
what with the things he had taken from the Dun Islands, 
and the catch he had made, he had already a full cargo. 
At Hammerfest he landed the people and his cargo and 
told how Stuer's sloop had gone down, and how Stuer 
himself must be lost, for he was away in his open walrus- 
boat, and could not be found. Then he sailed away again 
from Hammerfest to the ice. 

" Meanwhile Stuer had returned to his sloop and found 
her in a bad way, but he succeeded in patching her up and 
brought her back to Tromso, where he met his wife. He 
soon saw what Andersen must have done, so he related all 
that he knew about the Russians. But vengeance was 
already on Andersen's track. He took his sloop far up into 
the ice, which came packing all around him so that he could 
find no way out. Leaving the ship, he got on to a high 
iceberg and climbed to the very topmost peak of it, for it 
was tall and sharp. As he stood on the top looking all 
round for a way to come out of the ice, the great iceberg 
trembled and then turned right over. It flung the murderer 
into the sea and sucked him under, so that he was never 
seen again, and went straight to hell." 

In the summer of 182 1 another Norwegian hunting 
expedition was sent out from Hammerfest by Crowe. It 
went for part of the season to Edge Island where three 
men and a boy went off in a boat and were not seen again 1 . 
In the summer of 1822 Fallengrun died in Spitsbergen. 
In 1822-23 tne fi rst independent Norwegian wintering 
took place. A crew of 1 6 men were sent up to Cross Road 
by Bremen and Norwegian employers. They built two 
wooden huts near the site which the Russians had so often 
visited. The plan was that the settlement should be main- 
tained for three years, the men being changed yearly. 
Arrived at Cross Road, 10 men built the huts while six 
went to Ice Sound to kill reindeer. In the first month they 
collected a little eider-down. The walruses came in in 

1 R. P. Gillies' Tales, first series, Vol. II. p. 137. 
CH. XX. 

272 Norwegian Hunters 

August, and were hunted successfully, but the net brought 
up for white whales was not used. The men kept their 
health through the winter, but two lazy ones went down with 
scurvy in March. They were presently cured. In June 
two of Crowe's hunting sloops came in, and their own relief 
sloop arrived a few days later, bringing a new crew. The 
winterers presently sailed home. The new crew were less 
fortunate. They considered Cross Road an unfavourable 
position, so they migrated to Green Harbour and settled in 
the old Russian hut, which, however, afforded them such 
bad quarters that three men died. The third wintering was 
accordingly abandoned by the Bremen and Norwegian 
partnership. Now, however, Crowe took up the enterprise 
and sent 22 men to build a hut at Green Harbour and winter 
there in 1823-24. A Russian party simultaneously wintered 
at Mauritius Bay and another Russian party at Bell Sound. 
There were also Norwegian winterings at Bear Island 
about this time. 

It was, however, the Norwegian summer hunting ex- 
peditions that were now developing. Five sloops went to 
Spitsbergen for the season of 1824. In 1825 a forty-ton 
cutter belonging to Crowe sailed as far north as Walden 
Island. In the following winter 22 more Norwegians 
stayed at Green Harbour. They occupied both the Nor- 
wegian and the Russian huts, and they established an 
out-station in an old Russian hut. The five men who 
occupied this out-station remained inactive through fear of 
bears and so took scurvy and died 1 . 

In the summer of 1826 the number of Hammerfest 
sloops that hunted round Spitsbergen increased to seven. 
All this time the Russians continued to frequent the country 
though I can find no records of their doings. They 
apparently wintered often in the Russian valley near 
Green Harbour. There in 1826 died the old Russian 
foreman Starashchin, from whom Cape Starashchin at the 
mouth of Ice Sound is named. Crowe, who knew him 
well, stated that he had spent 39 s winters in Spitsbergen 
and 15 consecutive years without once leaving the island. 

1 Keilhau is the authority for all these events. 

2 Keilhau says 32, and so says Lowenigh. See R. G. S. Proceed, xxm. 
p. 132. 

Starashchin 273 

Norwegians told Sven Loven that he was a lively, ruddy 
little man with white hair and of patriarchal appearance. 
He was sent by the monks of Solovetskoi, who looked after 
him like a father. He died of old age and was buried at 
Green Harbour. The ruins of his hut were still pointed 
out in 1868. 

When Everest visited Hammerfest in 1827 he found 
that the Spitsbergen trade was the main support of the 
place. Keilhau's visit to the island in that year, and his 
published account of its resources, called attention to 
the Norwegian hunting industry. He records that sloops 
were then fitted out from Vardo, Hammerfest, Trondhjem, 
Bergen, Copenhagen, and Flensburg, but states that their 
number was already beginning to decrease. Keilhau's 
report stimulated the Norwegians to compete with the 
Russian trappers. This competition appears to have 
ultimately destroyed the Russian trade. I have heard of 
a Norwegian wintering in 1833, of which an account by 
Lieut. Hetting is stated to have been published. One man 
was killed by falling down a mountain, but the rest came 
safely through. Winterers at Bear Island in 1834 all died. 

The experiences of the four Russian sailors of 1743 
were almost exactly repeated in the winter of 1835-36 by 
four Norwegian sailors 1 . Their ship was near the Thou- 
sand Islands, in the month of September, and they were 
sent off in a boat to explore a harbour. They had only 
gone a mile or two when fog enveloped them and prevented 
them from finding either the bay or the ship. Hearing 
waves break on rocks they rowed in that direction and 
landed on a small island. The fog did not lift for more 
than two days. In the endeavour to find their ship they 
landed on another island. At last they sighted the vessel 
and were rowing towards her, when the wind sprang up and 
carried her away. Afterwards they saw her once more,, 
but could not come up with her and were abandoned. 
Finding three huts at some point on the coast, apparently 
of Edge Island, but not exactly identifiable, they decided 
to winter there. They were greatly straitened for food 
till they succeeded in killing some walruses. One day 

1 See La Recherche, Narrative, Vol. I. p. 264; and X. Marmier, Lettres, 
p. 471. 

C. CH. XX. I& 

274 Norwegian Winterings 

when out walrus-hunting the ice packed about them. They 
hauled their boat and slain walruses on to it and drifted 
about for two days. They became utterly faint from cold 
and exposure, and thought they would soon die, but the ice 
broke up suddenly and they were able to launch their boats 
and regain the huts. They made a lamp of the bottom of 
a bottle, used walrus blubber for oil (like Nansen), and 
cord for a wick. With nails for needles and unravelled 
rope for thread they made for themselves clothes of skins. 
They fashioned playing-cards out of slips of wood and 
grew so excited over their games that they sometimes 
came to blows. 

In December the laziest of them died of scurvy. Bears 
often visited their cabin. They killed several with lances. 
Once they ate the liver and were all made ill by it. Violent 
headaches were followed by lassitude. Finally their skins 
peeled off and they recovered. In April they killed their 
last bear and had thenceforward to feed on walrus. On 
June 20th they saw a vessel coming their way. It was 
within six miles of them on the 22nd, and their excite- 
ment was great. They rowed off to it. It was a ship 
from Altona. A few days later they were transferred to a 
Vardo boat, which took them home. They carried their 
wooden cards home with them, and told their story to Pastor 
Aall of Hammerfest, who related it to Xavier Marmier. 

I find a bare statement that in 1837 eighteen Russians 
wintered at the South Cape and all died. Xavier Marmier 
records that an equal number of Russians wintered and 
died at the Thousand Islands. Possibly both accounts 
refer to a single tragedy. In 1839 we know that there 
was a Russian wintering at Wijde Bay, where the Swedes 
found the hut in 1861 1 . Ten sloops went to the hunting in 
the following summer — four from Hammerfest, two from 
Bornholm, four from Copenhagen. This was considered 
to show a great falling off in the summer hunting industry. 
No sloops are mentioned as coming from Russia, but it 
must not be assumed that none came. 

About 1843 Charitonow states that the " men of the old 
faith " sent up a lodja from the Danilowa Pustynja, in the 
district of Kem, and "hired hunters to go to Spitsbergen 

1 Passarge, p. 247. 

A Lodja crushed 275 

for trapping. Two or three hundred versts from the 
Islands the vessel became enclosed in the ice. The crew 
abandoned all hope of being saved, when, to their joy, the 
huge ice-floe split apart, with a report like thunder, in 
front of the ship, and a passage opened up, broad enough 
for the lodja to pass down. The hunters took fresh courage. 
A gentle wind from the south arose, and the lodja glided 
along with swelling sails, grazing from time to time the 
walls of ice which bordered the passage. Suddenly the ice 
began to close again, coming nearer and nearer together, 
until the passage was quite blocked. All at once the ribs 
of the vessel cracked. The crew rushed forward, some to 
drag away a keg of powder, others a sack of ship's biscuits. 
But all had not time to save themselves. In a moment, 
the great, strong lodja was crushed flat like a cardboard 
box, together with the four sailors left on board. The 


others were carried along on the ice-floe to the rocky cliffs 
of Spitsbergen, and what is remarkable is, that they went 
thence to the North Cape in nine days, in a shallop of 
middling size, with one sail only." 

We read of another Russian lodja a few years later, 
which returned from Spitsbergen, short of her captain and 
two sailors 1 . They said that they had had the misfortune 
to lose them and no one thought more of so ordinary an 
occurrence. But some years afterwards, in 1853, a Nor- 
wegian hunter found the skeleton of a man lying on the 
shore at Spitsbergen, and by his side a metal flint and 
tinder box. He noticed that some writing was scratched 
on the lid of the box, so he carried it off with him. The 
writing stated that the owner, with two or three men of his 
crew, had been marooned, and that his companions were 
already dead of hunger. He obviously shared the same fate. 
The strange diary ended with March 3. The Norwegian 
sent the box to Archangel. Investigations followed. The 
criminals were discovered and punished with exile to Siberia. 

The last mention of Russian trappers wintering in 
Spitsbergen is in the season of 1851-52 2 . In June, 185 1, 
the merchant Kusnezow laded a lodja with two years' pro- 

1 Passarge, p. 448. 

2 Two accounts have been published. Erman's Archiv (reprinting from 
the St Petersburg Journal), \o\. 13 (1854), pp. 260-265 '■> Passarge, p. 452. 

CH. XX. l8—2 

276 Tragedy at Red Bay 

visions, and timber for a head-quarters establishment, and 
sent her forth with a crew of 18 men. It was their inten- 
tion to land in the south of Spitsbergen, on the so-called 
Rimbow Point, which, I suppose to have been South Cape. 
Their ignorant captain missed his way and ultimately landed 
them at Red Bay, near the north-west corner of the island, 
on July 19. They drew their lodja up on shore and set up 
their barrack. The captain and three men settled in this 
hut, whilst the other ten went away in boats looking for old 
huts to use as outposts. They found five. One was 80 
years old. These five huts were spread over a distance of 
100 versts. The furthest may therefore have been one of 
the huts whose ruins may still be seen on the Ryss Islands. 
They stayed in the outposts for 17 weeks, hunting with 
much success. On December 5th all were back at Red 
Bay for the long night. With idleness, scurvy set in. 
Only six men remained healthy on Dec. 20th. The 
necessity of obtaining a supply of fresh meat compelled 
three of these six to go and hunt. On their return only one 
remained able to get about. " The groans of men in agony 
filled the hut." One man died in January, three in February, 
five in March, one in April, and one in May. On July 3rd 
they were visited by some of the crews of two Norwegian 
hunting sloops, "accustomed to go up yearly after walrus." 
These men helped the six survivors to launch their lodja 
and cut a canal for it through the land-ice to the open sea. 
They thus returned home, but had to abandon most of their 
furs in the various outpost huts. The six men who arrived 
home stated that they were ready to go and winter in Spits- 
bergen again whenever anyone wanted to send them. It 
appears . however that no Archangel merchant cared to 
adventure again in what had doubtless for some time been 
a losing trade. Probably this unfortunate voyage terminated 
the industry. A few years later Lamont 1 saw the ruins of 
their hut on Biscayers Hook with the usual Russian crosses 
standing by it. The hut was still discoverable as late as 
1896, when I was up there, but the tragedy connected with 
it was already forgotten by the Norwegian sailors who 
accompanied me. They told a somewhat similar tale, but 
associated it not with Biscayers Hook but with Keilhau 
Bay in Edge Island. 

1 Arctic Seas, p. 244. 



After the middle of the 18th century the age of 
science was at hand. The horizon of the interests of 
intelligent men widened. Nature in all her aspects found 
an increasing number of faithful students. The attention 
even of Governments was turned to, and national funds 
began to be employed for, what may be called broadly, 
scientific purposes. A century before, as we have seen, the 
Royal Society of London had directed attention to the lack 
of exact information as to the regions of the North, and 
Martens in consequence published the results of his voyage. 
This, however, was a premature movement. It was not till 
after the middle of the 18th century that the foundations 
were laid for a really scientific study of Arctic problems. 

The moving spirit in England was the Hon. Daines 
Barrington. He was fascinated by the idea of the North. 
While other men were interested in promoting the explora- 
tion of the habitable parts of the world, he fixed his attention 
on the North Pole. Not that he wished to sail there him- 
self. The amateur explorer had not yet arisen. He wanted 
to have an expedition sent there, and an expedition in those 
days meant a naval expedition. Accordingly he set himself 
at work to arouse interest in polar research. He read all 
old literature of Arctic voyages that he could find, especially 
with reference to the attainment of high latitudes. Whaling 
skippers were not very accurate talkers, and many of them 
had boasted, at one time or another, of having reached 
impossible latitudes. In the foregoing chapters we have 
shown the inaccuracy of some of these skippers' tales. 
Barrington had no such means as we possess for correcting 
what he heard and read. He wrote down a list of high 


278 Phipps Expedition in 1773 

latitudes claimed to have been attained at different dates, 
and he argued that the Pole itself could be reached by a 
sailing vessel in a favourable year. 

In 1775 Barrington published a memoir entitled The 
Possibility of approaching the North Pole, but most of the 
materials contained in it had been utilized by him in previous 
years in his efforts to raise interest in the question. The 
Royal Society was the body by means of which he operated. 
He read several Arctic papers at its meetings. He was 
finally successful in moving the Society, in the early part of 
1773, to present a memorial to the King, urging the de- 
sirability of sending an expedition to try how far navigation 
was possible in the direction of the North Pole. The pro- 
posal met with royal approbation, and two bomb-vessels, 
the Racehorse and the Carcass, were selected for the cruise. 
The Hon. Constantine John Phipps, afterwards Lord Mul- 
grave, Captain of the Racehorse, was given the general 
command. The Carcass was in the hands of Commander 
Lutwidge, and Horatio Nelson, aged 14, was a midship- 
man on board of her. 

At a later period of his life Nelson related how, when 
the expedition towards the North Pole was fitted out, 
"although no boys were allowed to go in the ships (as of no 
use), yet nothing could prevent my using every interest to 
go with Captain Lutwidge in the Carcass ; and as I fancied 
I was to fill a man's place, I begged I might be his cock- 
swain ; which, finding my ardent desire for going with him, 
Captain Lutwidge complied with, and has continued the 
strictest friendship to this moment. Lord Mulgrave, whom 
I then first knew, maintained his kindest friendship and 
regard to the last moment of his life 1 ." 

The Racehorse and the Carcass, having been duly fitted, 
sailed from the Thames on June 2nd, the object of the expe- 
dition being, as stated by Phipps himself, "to ascertain a 
very interesting point in geography." No Arctic expedition 
of earlier date could have been so described. Spitsbergen 
was sighted on the 28th. They were off the Foreland on 
July 2, and they measured the height of a peak on it and 
found it to be 4509 feet. On July 4th they passed the 
entrance of Magdalena Bay and had 15 sail of whalers in 

1 Captain A. T. Mahan's Life of Nelson, London, 1897, Vol. I. p. 12. 

At Fair haven 279 

sight at once. Altogether they met a great many whalers, 
both English and Dutch. Next day they encountered the 
ice-pack near Hakluyt Headland and nearly ran into it in 
the fog. The conditions of the ice unfortunately proved 
very bad during the whole summer, and from this time 
onward they were floundering about in it. Their object 
was to press ever northward. It was not Spitsbergen they 
were seeking, but the North Pole. The ice, however, 
opposed their progress, and the highest point they were 
then able to reach was 8o° 36' on July 9th. Further advance 
being impossible, they ran into Fairhaven 1 on the 13th, and 
cast anchor behind Vogelsang. Four English and two 
Dutch whalers were in the haven. The fishery was still 
a very good business at the edge of and just within the 
pack, July and the first ten days of August being the best 
time. Floyd describes how they landed on the different 
islands and climbed the hills. Dr Irvine carried a barometer 
to the top of the highest hill in the neighbourhood and 
found it to measure 1250 feet. Other instruments were set 
up on Deadman's Island and various observations made. 
There was some surveying attempted and a wonderful chart 
was produced, which is still the marvel of those who take 
interest in Spitsbergen surveying, for its extraordinary 
badness. Natural history collections were also made. 
Phipps himself climbed a hill at Fairhaven to inspect the 
ice-pack. It was doubtless the Outer Norway, so often 
climbed by ice-bound navigators before and since 2 . Lamont 
describes a characteristic view of the pack seen from 
thence. ''Stretching from Welcome Point 3 and envelop- 
ing Moffen Island, the ice appeared to be in one dense, 
unbroken sheet. Streams of ice were carried hither and 
thither by varying currents which prevail here. But the 
main pack seemed absolutely impenetrable." The same 
graphic writer visited it again on a glorious day. " The 
heat was overwhelming. Not a breath of air. The un- 

1 Here and afterwards the name Fairhaven was wrongly applied to the 
anchorages about the Norways and Vogelsang, being no part of the original Fair- 
haven of the early English whalers. 

2 See a good illustration, "The Look-out from the Norways," in Lamont's 
Arctic Seas, p. 266. It is reproduced in the present volume. 

3 By Welcome Point Lamont means the point at the E. end of Red Beach. 
Redbeach Point is its proper name. 


280 PJiipps Expedition in 1773 

clouded sun, blazing down, was reflected from the dazzling 
snow or radiated from the rocks, and made one almost 
forget latitude till the eye again rested on the great icy 
expanse to the north. Intense quiet prevailed everywhere; 
the wailing cries of a couple of burgomasters, and the shrill 
chattering of some rotges in the cliff below, alone broke the 

stillness I left the summit with a very definite picture of 

the ice engraved indelibly on my brain — a picture which is 
called up readily in all its clearness whenever I hear wild 
talking or read vague theories on the subject of traversing 
the pack to the North Pole!" That was just what Phipps 
had to try to do. 

After spending five days in Fairhaven he again tried to 
get north, but on July 25th was no further advanced than 
two miles off Moffen Island. Lutwidge sent a party to 
land on it, "who found the island to be nearly of a round 
form, about two miles in diameter, with a lake or large 

pond of water in the middle The ground between the 

sea and the pond is from half a cable's length to a quarter 
of a mile broad, and the whole island covered with gravel 
and small stones, without the least verdure or vegetation 
of any kind. They saw only one piece of drift wood... 
which had been thrown up over the high part of the land, 
and lay upon the declivity towards the pond. They saw 
three bears, and a number of wild ducks, geese, and other 
sea-fowls, with birds' nests all over the island. There was 
an inscription over the grave of a Dutchman, who was 
buried there in July, 1 77 1." (Phipps, p. 53.) 

On the 26th they were for a while in open water, and at 
midnight between July 27th and 28th they attained their 
highest northing, Lat. 8o° 37' N. Next day they were 
near Low Island, and a party landed and found the beach 
formed "of old timber, sand, and whale-bones"; the drift 
wood was great trees torn up by the roots, others cut down, 
and there was wood fashioned for use. "The island is about 
seven miles long, Mat, and formed chiefly of stones from 18 
to 30 inches over, many of them hexagons, and commo- 
diously placed for walking on ; the middle of the island is 
covered with moss, scurvy-grass, sorrel, and a few ranun- 
culuses then in flower. Two reindeer were feeding on the 
moss ; one we killed, and found it fat and of high flavour. 

Among the Seven Islands 281 

We saw a light grey-coloured fox; and a creature somewhat 
larger than a weasel, with short ears, long tail, and skin 
spotted white and black. The island abounds with small 
snipes, similar to the jack-snipe in England. The ducks 
were now hatching their eggs, and many wild geese feeding 
by the water-side." On their way back to the ship they 
fired at and wounded a walrus, " which dived immediately, 
and brought up with it a number of others. They all joined 
in an attack upon the boat, wrested an oar from one of the 
men, and were with difficulty prevented from staving or 
oversetting her ; but a boat from the Carcass joining ours 
they dispersed." The middy in command of this boat was 

On July 30th they were among the Seven Islands in the 
ice. Lutwidge landed on Phipps Island and climbed to the 
top, "whence they commanded a prospect extending to 
the east and north-east, 10 or 12 leagues, over one con- 
tinued plain of smooth unbroken ice, bounded only by the 
horizon : they also saw land stretching to the S.E. (North- 
east Land), laid down in the Dutch charts as islands. The 
ships now remained beset for several days, and it was during 
this time that young Nelson had his famous adventure with 
the polar bear. I copy the following account from Captain 
Mahan's Nelson; it is quoted by him from Nelson's "first 

" There is also an anecdote recollected by Admiral Lut- 
widge, which marked the filial attention of his gallant cock- 
swain. Among the gentlemen on the quarter-deck of the 
Carcass, who were not rated midshipmen 1 , there was, besides 
young Nelson, a daring shipmate of his, to whom he had 
become attached. One night, during the mid-watch, it was 
concerted between them that they should steal together from 
the ship, and endeavour to obtain a bear's skin. The clear- 
ness of the nights- in those high latitudes rendered the 
accomplishment of this object extremely difficult : they, 
however, seem to have taken advantage of the haze of an 
approaching fog, and thus to have escaped unnoticed. 

1 As a matter of fact they were so rated. See list of officers published by 
Admiral Markham in Northward Ho. 

" There were no nights at all at that time of year, but broad daylight all 
the 24. hours. 


282 Nelson s Bear Hunt 

Nelson in high spirits led the way over the frightful chasms 
in the ice, armed with a rusty musket. It was not, how- 
ever, long before the adventurers were missed by those on 
board ; and, as the fog had come on very thick, the anxiety 
of Captain Lutwidge and his officers was very great. Be- 
tween three and four in the morning the mist somewhat 
dispersed, and the hunters were discovered at a considerable 
distance, attacking a large bear. The signal was instantly 
made for their return ; but it was in vain that Nelson's 
companion urged him to obey it. He was at this time 
divided by a chasm in the ice from his shaggy antagonist, 
which probably saved his life; for his musket had flashed in 
the pan, and their ammunition was expended. ' Never 
mind,' exclaimed Horatio, 'do but let me get a blow at this 
devil with the butt-end of my musket, and we shall have 
him.' His companion, finding that entreaty was in vain, 
regained the ship. The captain, seeing the young man's 
danger, ordered a gun to be fired to terrify the enraged 
animal. This had the desired effect ; but Nelson was 
obliged to return without his bear, somewhat agitated with 
the apprehension of the consequence of this adventure. 
Captain Lutwidge, though he could not but admire so 
daring a disposition, reprimanded him rather sternly for 
such rashness, and for conduct so unworthy of the situation 
he occupied ; and desired to know what motive he could 
have for hunting a bear? Being thought by his captain 
to have acted in a manner unworthy of his situation made 
a deep impression on the high-minded cockswain ; who, 
pouting his lip, as he was wont to do when agitated, 
replied, ' Sir, I wished to kill the bear, that I might carry 
its skin to my father.'" 

On the 5th of August the condition of affairs seemed so 
serious that Phipps began preparations for abandoning the 
ships. He sent Walden, a midshipman, with two pilots to 
walk 12 miles over the ice to a rocky island, named 
Walden Island after him. They climbed to the top of it 
and examined the pack, discovering open water to the 
westward, but no good prospect. The ice conditions 
growing worse and the ships driving fast towards shoal 
ground and rocks, preparations were made to abandon the 
vessels and betake themselves to the boats. Nelson related 

Phipps Escape 283 

that, "When the boats were fitting out to quit the two ships 
blocked up in the ice, I exerted myself to have the com- 
mand of a four-oared cutter raised upon, which was given 
me, with twelve men ; and I prided myself in fancying I 
could navigate her better than any other boat in the ship 1 ." 
After several days of suspense, however, and much hard 
work thev £ot out of the ice in safety on the 10th, and next 
day came to an anchor in the harbour of Smeerenburg. 
They found four Dutch ships there, for "the Dutch ships 
still resort to this place for the latter season of the whale 
fishery." A week later another attempt was made to 
penetrate the pack north-westwards, but with no result, so 
on August 22nd they sailed for home. 

The expedition is not generally regarded as having been 
a success, yet, except for the badness of the chart of Fair- 
haven, it really accomplished good work. It discovered 
the beautiful ivory gull, the fairest bird of the Arctic regions. 
It made numerous observations that were very valuable 
in their day. It did not penetrate to a notably high latitude, 
but it went as far north as a sailing ship can expect to go in 
this longitude in an ordinary year. Of course it wasted 
much time at sea that might have been far more profitably 
employed on the nearest land, but it was fulfilling instruc- 
tions in so doing. The notable point is that this was the 
first purely geographical Arctic expedition. The Russian 
expedition under Tschitschagof was part of a colonizing 
experiment, and was only geographical in a secondary 
degree. It is clear that its commander considered his 
northern explorations as of minor importance, and easily 
desisted from them in face of difficulties — an accusation 
that cannot be brought against Phipps. The real business 
of the Russians was to establish and supply the settlement 
in Bell Sound. Phipps had nothing else to do but to 
explore. That is the fact to which the English expedition 
of 1773 owes its importance in Arctic history. It was, in 
intention, a purely scientific mission, though only one or 
two professional scientific men were on board. 

The next Arctic explorer who calls for special attention 
in connexion with Spitsbergen is W. Scoresby. He has 
been well called "the De Saussure of the Arctic regions." 

1 Mahan's Nelson, Vol. I. p. 12. 



He was a whaler of Whitby and the son of a whaler ; 
he was also a man endowed with unusual powers of ob- 
servation, who loved his work and did it ably, and who 
loved the Arctic regions and took keen interest in the 
scientific problems they offered for solution. Year after 
year for more than a quarter of a century he pursued his 
adventurous career in the northern seas, never neglecting 
business in the cause of science, but always mindful of 
science when business permitted. John Laing, the surgeon 
of his ship, published a much-read account of Scoresby's 
voyage in 1806, the year in which he sailed on May 28th 
to 8i° 30' N. in 1 9 E. longitude, and visited a great part of 
the Spitsbergen coast. It is recorded that in this same 
year two French frigates cruised about in the whale-fishing 
region during the latter part of the season and destroyed 
several whalers, but they missed Scoresby's Resolution. If 
attacked, she might have given a good account of herself, 
for she was fitted out as a letter of marque, armed with 
twelve 6-pounders, besides stern-chasers and small arms. 
She had a crew of between 60 and 70 men. A good many 
years before, Whitby used to send 20 vessels to the whale- 
fishery, but the trade fell off till Scoresby revived it. He 
does not seem to have landed very often on Spitsbergen, 
but he did so in the year 18 18, when he climbed the hill 
on Collins Cape (whose name had been long forgotten), 
which he called Mitre Cape, or Mitra Hook. His account 
of this expedition is worth quotation 1 : 

In the summer of 1818 I was several times on shore on the main near 
Mitre Cape, and landed once, in the same season, on the north side of King's 
Bay. Being near the land on the evening of July 23, the weather beautifully 
clear, and all our sails becalmed by the hills, excepting the topgallant sails, 
in which we had constantly a gentle breeze, I left the ship in charge of a 
principal officer, with orders to stand no nearer than into thirty fathoms water, 
and with two boats and fourteen men rowed to the shore. We arrived at the 
beach about ~]\ P.M., and landed on a tract of low flat ground, extending about 
six miles north and south, and two or three east and west, from the east side 
of which a mountain-arm takes its rise, terminating on the south with the 
remarkable insulated cliff constituting Mitre Cape. This table land lies so 
low that it would be overflown by the sea, were it not for a natural embank- 
ment of shingle thrown up by the sea; indeed, from the seaweed and driftwood 
found upon it, it seems at no very remote period to have been covered by the 
tide. The shingle forming the sea-bank consists, in general, of remarkably 
round pebbles ; many of them being calcareous, are prettily veined. 

After advancing about half a furlong from the sea, we met with mica-slate 

1 Scoresby's Arctic Regions, I. 1 18-123, 126-138. 

climbs Mount Mitre 285 

in nearly perpendicular strata ; and, a little farther on, with an extensive bed 
of limestone in small angular fragments. Here and there we saw large ponds 
of fresh water, derived from melted ice and snow ; in some places small remains 
of snow ; and, lastly, near the base of the mountains, a considerable morass, 
into which we sunk nearly to the knees. Some unhealthy looking mosses 
appeared on this swamp; but the softest part, as well as most of the ground we 
had hitherto traversed, was entirely void of vegetation. This swamp had a 
moorish look, and consisted apparently of black alluvial soil, mixed with some 
vegetable remains, and was curiously marked on the surface with small 
polygonal ridges, from one to three yards in diameter, so combined as to 
give the ground an appearance similar to that exhibited by a section of honey- 
comb. An ascent of a few yards from the morass, on somewhat firmer ground, 
brought us to the foot of the first mountain to the northward of the Mitre. 
Here some pretty specimens of Saxifraga oppositifolia and Groenlatidica, Salix 
herbacea, Draba alpina, Papaver alpina (of Mr Don), &c, and some other 
plants in full flower were found on little tufts of soil and scattered about on the 
ascent. The first hill rose at an inclination of 45° to the height of about 
1,500 ft., and was joined on the north side to another of about twice the 
elevation. We began to climb the acclivity on the most accessible side at 
about 10 P.M., but from the looseness of the stones and the steepness of the 
ascent we found it a most difficult undertaking. There was scarcely a possi- 
bility of advancing by the common method of walking, for in this attempt 
the ground gave way at every step, and no progress was made ; hence the 
only method of succeeding was by the effort of leaping or running, which, 
under the peculiar circumstances, could not be accomplished without excessive 
fatigue. In the direction we travelled we met with angular fragments of 
limestone and quartz, chiefly of one or two pounds weight, and a few naked 
rocks protruding through the loose materials of which the side of the mountain, 
to the extent it was visible, was principally composed. These rocks appeared 
solid at a little distance, but on examination were found to be full of fractures 
in every direction, so that it was with difficulty that a specimen of five or six 
pounds weight, in a solid mass, could be obtained. Along the side of the first 
range of hills near the summit was extended a band of ice and snow, which, 
in the direct ascent, we tried in vain to surmount. By great exertion, however, 
in tracing the side of the hill for about 200 yards, where it was so uncommonly 
steep that at every step showers of stones were precipitated to the bottom, we 
found a sort of angle of the hill free from ice by which the summit was scaled. 

Here we rested until I took a few angles and bearings of the most prominent 
parts of the coast, when, having collected specimens of the minerals and such 
few plants as the barren ridge afforded, we proceeded on our excursion. In 
our way to the principal mountain near us, we passed along a ridge of the 
secondary mountains, which was so acute that I sat across it with a leg on each 
side, as on horseback. One side of it made an angle with the horizon of 50 , 
and the other of 40 . To the very top it consisted of loose sharp limestones, of 
a yellowish or reddish colour, smaller in size than the stones generally used for 
repairing high roads, few pieces being above a pound in weight. The fracture 
appeared rather fresh. After passing along this ridge about three or four 
furlongs, and crossing a lodgment of ice and snow, we descended by a sort of 
ravine to the side of the principal mountain, which arose with a uniformly steep 
ascent, similar to that we had already surmounted, to the very summit. The 
ascent was now even more difficult than before : we could make no considerable 
progress but by the exertion of leaping and running, so that we were obliged 
to rest after every fifty or sixty paces. No solid rock was met with, and no 
earth or soil. The stones, however, were larger, appeared more decayed, and 
were more uniformly covered with black lichens ; but several plants of the 
saxifraga, salix, draba, cochlearia, and juncus genera, which had been met 
with here and there for the first 2,000 ft. of elevation, began to disappear as 
we approached the summit. The invariably broken state of the rocks appeared 


286 Mount Mitre 

to have been the effect of frost. On calcareous rocks, some of which are not 
impervious to moisture, the effect is such as might be expected ; but how frost 
can operate in this way on quartz is not so easily understood. 

As we completed the arduous ascent, the sun had just reached the meridian 
below the Pole, and still shed his reviving rays of unimpaired brilliancy on 
a small surface of snow which capped the mountain's summit. A thermometer 
placed among stones in the shade of the brow of the hill indicated a tempera- 
ture as high as 37 . At the top of the first hill the temperature was 42 , and at 
the foot, on the plain, 44 to 46", so that, at the very peak of the mountain, 
estimated at 3,000 ft. elevation, the power of the sun at midnight produced a 
temperature several degrees above the freezing point, and occasioned the 
discharge of streams of water from the snow-capped summit. 

The form of the mountain summit which I visited is round backed, the area 
of the part approaching the horizontal position not being above a quarter of 
an acre. The south side, where we ascended, and the south-east are the only 
accessible parts, the east, north, and west aspects being precipitous nearly from 
top to bottom. What snow still remained on the summit was but a few inches 
deep, and appeared to be in a state of rapid dissolution ; the sides of the hill were 
almost entirely free from snow. The masses of stone on the brow of the 
mountain were larger than any we had yet met with, the fracture was less fresh, 
and they were more generally covered with lichens. 

From the brow of the mountain, on the side by which we ascended, many 
masses of stone were dislodged by design or accident, which, whatever might 
be their size, shape, or weight, generally made their way with accelerated 
velocity to the bottom. As they bounded from rock to rock they produced 
considerable smoke at each concussion, and, setting in motion numerous 
fragments in their course, they were usually accompanied by showers of stones, 
all of which were lodged in a bed of snow lying 2,000 ft. below the place where 
the first were disengaged. This may afford some idea of the nature of the 
inclination. Most of the larger stones which were set off broke into numbers 
of pieces, but some considerable masses of a tabular form wheeled down upon 
their edges, and though they made bounds of several hundred feet at a time, 
and acquired a most astonishing velocity, they sometimes got to the bottom 
without breaking. 

The prospect was most extensive and grand. A fine sheltered bay was seen 
on the east of us, an arm of the same on the north-east, and the sea, whose 
glassy surface was unruffled by a breeze, formed an immense expanse on the 
west ; the icebergs 1 , rearing their proud crests almost to the tops of the 
mountains between which they were lodged, and defying the power of the solar 
beams, were scattered in various directions about the sea coast and in the 
adjoining bays. Beds of snow and ice filling extensive hollows, and giving an 
enamelled coat to adjoining valleys, one of which commencing at the foot of the 
mountain where we stood, extended in a continued line towards the north, as 
far as the eye could reach ; mountain rising above mountain, until by distance 
they dwindled into insignificancy ; the whole contrasted by a cloudless canopy 
of deepest azure, and enlightened by the rays of a blazing sun, and the effect 
aided by a feeling of danger, seated as we were on the pinnacle of a rock, 
almost surrounded by tremendous precipices — all united to constitute a picture 
singularly sublime. Here we seemed elevated into the very heavens, and, 
though in a hazardous situation, I was sensible only of pleasing emotions, 
heightened by the persuasion that, from experience in these kind of adventures, 
I was superior to the dangers with which I was surrounded. The effect of the 
elevation and the brightness of the picture were such that the sea, which was 
at least a league from us, appeared within reach of a musket-shot ; mountains 
a dozen miles off seemed scarcely a league from us ; and our vessel, which we 

1 By 'icebergs' Scoresby means glaciers. 

Scoresby s Book 287 

knew was at the distance of a league from the shore, appeared in danger of 
the rocks. 

After a short rest, in which we were much refreshed with a gentle breeze 
of wind that here prevailed, and after we had surveyed the surrounding scenery 
as long as it afforded anything striking, we commenced the descent. This 
task, however, which before the attempt we had viewed with indifference, we 
found really a very hazardous, and in some instances a painful undertaking. 
The way now seemed precipitous. Every movement was a work of delibera- 
tion. The stones were so sharp that they cut our boots and pained our feet, 
and so loose that they gave way almost at every step, and frequently threw us 
backward with force against the hill. We were careful to advance abreast of 
each other, for any individual being below us would have been in danger of 
being overwhelmed with the stones which we unintentionally dislodged in 
showers. Having, by much care, and with some anxiety, made good our 
descent to the top of the secondary hills, to save the fatigue of crawling along 
the sharp ridge that we had before traversed we took down one of the steepest 
banks, the inclination of which was little less than 50 . The stones here being 
very small and loose, we sat down on the side of the hill, and slid forward with 
great facility in a sitting posture. Towards the foot of the hill an expanse of 
snow stretched across the line of descent. This being loose and soft, we 
entered upon it without fear, and our progress at first was by no means rapid ; 
but, on reaching the middle of it, we came to a surface of solid ice, perhaps 
a hundred yards across, over which we launched with astonishing velocity, but 
happily escaped without injury. The men whom we left below viewed this 
latter movement with astonishment and fear. 

In 1820 Scoresby published, at Edinburgh, the result of 
his life's observations in two volumes, entitled An Account 
of the Arctic Regions — a classical work which is still well 
worth reading, and might be republished with success 
nowadays, omitting portions that are out of date. In 
this book he brought together his deductions from his 
own observations, corrected by whatever he had been able 
to read of the work of others. He in fact summed up 
the Arctic knowledge of his day and laid a firm foundation 
for future advance. 

The summer seasons of 18 16 and 181 7 were remarkable 
for the openness of the seas north of Spitsbergen and the 
retreat of the pack. Whalers carried the report of this 
condition of affairs home with them, and they falsely pre- 
dicted that the season of 18 18 was likely to be yet more 
open. Accordingly influences were brought to bear on the 
British Government to send up another Arctic expedition 
to take advantage of so unusual a chance. Sir John 
Barrow, Secretary to the Admiralty, proved favourable 
to the idea, and two expeditions were equipped and sent 
out — one to the north-west under Ross and Parry, the 
other to Spitsbergen under Buchan and Franklin. Captain 


288 BucJian and Franklin 

Buchan commanded the Dorothea, Lieutenant John Franklin 
the Trent. 

They sailed from the Thames on the 25th of April, 
sighted Bear Island on the 24th of May, and a few days 
later were at their rendezvous in Magdalena Bay, where 
they waited some time to let the neighbouring ice-pack 
break up. They used the interval to make many expedi- 
tions in the neighbourhood. " One of our earliest excur- 
sions in this bay was an attempt to ascend Rotge Hill, 
upon which may now perhaps be seen, at the height of 
about 2000 feet, a staff that once carried a red flag, which 
was planted there to mark the greatest height we were 
able to attain, partly in consequence of the steepness of the 
ascent, but mainly on account of the detached masses of 
rock which a very slight matter would displace, and hurl 
down the precipitous declivity, to the utter destruction of 
him who depended upon their support, or who might 
happen to be in their path below. The latter part of our 
ascent was, indeed, much against our inclination ; but we 
found it impossible to descend by the way we had come up, 
and were compelled to gain a ledge, which promised the 
only secure resting-place we could find at that height. 
This we were able to effect by sticking the tomahawks, 
with which we were provided, into crevices in the rock, as 
a support for our feet ; and some of these instruments we 
were obliged to leave where they were driven in, in con- 
sequence of the danger that attended their recovery. We 
followed the ledge we had thus gained to the head of a 
bank of snow, which filled up a valley to the east of the 
hill, and found the snow sufficiently soft for our feet to 
make an impression upon it, or I really believe we should 
have been obliged to wait until we could have obtained 
ropes from the ship to facilitate our descent. As it was, 
this bed of snow was so steep that, had we missed our 
footing, we must have rolled down and been precipitated 
into the sea, as invariably happened with the birds we 
shot 1 ." 

The season, instead of being an open one, as was 
expected, proved to be the very reverse. The ships put 
to sea again on June 7th, but were soon beset, and only 

1 Capt. A. H. Markham, Northward Ho, p. 240. 

BeecJieys Panorama 289 

after some days' delay were they able to get free and take 
refuge in Fairhaven. Then it was that they discovered 
the worthlessness of Phipps' chart and proceeded to 
resurvev the neighbourhood. The admirable chart still 
employed was the result of their labours. Many hills 
around Fairhaven were climbed, and no less than 40 rein- 
deer shot on Vogelsang alone. The deer were wary and 
hard to approach. Nowadays you may spend a whole 
summer on Vogelsang Island, and you will not see a single 
reindeer. In Robbe Bay, which they visited, they found 
still standing two large wooden huts, in old days the property 
of the Danes. Lying before them were three boats lashed 
together drawn up on the beach, near some graves. On 
the northern extremity of one of the Norways they counted 
no less than 243 graves, many with Dutch inscriptions, and 
they noticed the ruins of the old Zeeland cookeries. 

Putting to sea again on July 6th, they reached latitude 
8o° 34', where they were completely beset. This was their 
farthest north. While in the pack they noticed its strong 
southerly drift, which was destined to defeat Parry, nine years 
later, and to help Nansen. A few days later both ships were 
severely damaged in a storm; when it abated they returned 
to Fairhaven to refit, and on August 30th sailed for home. 
The expedition was not a great success, certainly, but it 
produced the first properly-surveyed map of any part of 
Spitsbergen — the north-west corner. For this reason it 
possesses some importance in Spitsbergen history. More- 
over, it had the further effect of introducing some notions 
of the character of Arctic scenery to the British public. 
Lieutenant Beechey, who accompanied it, was a skilful and 
accurate draughtsman. He devoted himself to sketching. 
When his ship was beset off the north coast he carefully 
drew the wide extending view of islands and cliffs, glaciers, 
and rocky deserts that was displayed before him from Grey 
Hook in the east to Vogelsang in the west. This drawing 
of his was copied on a large scale, and (in 1819) exhibited 
"in the large Rotunda of Henry Aston Barker's Panorama, 
Leicester Square," where it attracted much attention. A 
little descriptive pamphlet containing a small print of the 
panorama was sold to visitors, and rare copies of this are 
all the record that remains of the exhibition. 

C. CH. XXI. 19 

290 Sabine s Visit 

In 1 82 1 a young German physician, M. W. Mandt, 
sailed on the Hamburg whaler Blue her to the Greenland 
and Spitsbergen seas. He brought back anatomical notes 
and preparations and published his observations in the 
form of a thesis for the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 
July, 1822. All that he says about the voyage is this, 
"Ad gradum usque octogesimum primum latitudinis Poli 
arctici, Spitzbergam praetervecti, pervenimus." 

The seeds of interest in Arctic questions were now 
firmly implanted in the mind of the European public, and 
in process of time they produced a harvest of results that 
has not even yet been garnered in. The only expeditions 
that can here be noticed, however, are those that made 
landings on the shores of Spitsbergen. The question of 
the true figure of the Earth next determined a scientific 
visit there. In 1823 Sir Edward Sabine was sent on 
H.M.S. Griper (Captain Clavering) to make pendulum 
observations at different points in the far north. One of 
the positions chosen was Fairhaven. They anchored there 
on July 1 st. Sabine set up his station on a low, dry and 
level piece of ground at the south-west extremity of the 
Inner Norway island. While he was making his pendulum 
and magnetic observations, Clavering sailed, from July 4th 
to 10th, to explore the edge of the pack. He found it against 
the land, east of the Norways and stretching away un- 
broken round as far as long. ii° W., where it turned 
south-west. They saw no whalers whatever at Fairhaven, 
and they state that the place was now only frequented by 
Norwegian sloops. About July 18th the Griper sailed for 
Greenland \ 

One of the results of this visit was to convince Sabine 
that Spitsbergen was the northern land-surface par excellence 
adapted for accurate measurement upon it of a fairly long 
arc of the meridian — an operation of extreme importance 
for throwing light upon the true figure of the Earth. He 
began to make enquiries as to the accessibility of the 
country, as to its climate, and the conditions of life upon it. 
Of course he was thus put in communication with Mr Crowe, 
British Vice-consul at Hammerfest, who was the energetic 

1 Sabine's observatory is one of the most accurately fixed points in Spits- 
bergen. Lat. 79 49' 57" .8 N., Long. n° 40' 30" E. 

Sabine s Proposal 291 

promoter at that time of the Norwegian hunting industry 
around the shores of Spitsbergen. Crowe was applied to 
for the results of his experience and in reply he sent a 
communication to Lord Melbourne, in which he stated that 
he was in the habit of sending sloops to Spitsbergen year 
after year. In particular he stated that in 1825 he sent a 
40-ton cutter which, after visiting his own establishment in 
Ice Sound, sailed round to Walden Island without difficulty. 
Crowe himself once spent a winter at Ice Sound 1 . 

Fortified by his enquiries, Sabine wrote a letter to 
Davies Gilbert, M.P., dated 8 Feb. 1826, formally proposing 
that Government should send an expedition to measure an 
arc of the meridian on Spitsbergen 2 . From that time 
onwards the matter was intermittently mooted and Sabine 
never ceased to press forward the undertaking. Norden- 
skiold in his day took up Sabine's idea and some of his 
Spitsbergen expeditions were made for the purpose of 
reconnoitring the line to be measured and determining the 
positions suitable for trigonometrical stations. In the last 
years of the 19th century the measurement was finally 
accomplished, the idea that originated with Sabine being 
carried out by combined parties of Swedes and Russians, 
to the discredit of successive British Governments. The 
proposal, I suppose, was concerned with a problem, ap- 
parently too abstract to appeal to the British public, who 
on the other hand were at that time always delighted to 
hear of the doings of naval expeditions in which the element 
of pure adventure was large. Such an expedition was sent 
out in 1827, when H.M.S. Hecla under the command of 
Captain Parry was despatched to try and reach the North 
Pole 3 . 

" In April, 1826," relates Parry, " I proposed to the 
Rt. Hon. Viscount Melville, First Lord Commissioner of 
the Admiralty, to attempt to reach the North Pole, by 
means of travelling with sledge-boats over the ice, or 

1 Parry's Narrative, p. 137 note. 

2 Printed in The Quarterly Journal of Science and the Arts (Royal Institu- 
tion), Vol. xxi. pp. 101-108. London, 1826. 

3 Someone must have visited Spitsbergen in 1826, because it is recorded 
in the archives of the Raleigh Club (parent of the Geographical Society and 
the Geographical Club) that Captain Brooke presented to the Club for its 
dinner on Feb. 7th, 1827, a haunch of reindeer venison from Spitsbergen. 

CH. XXI. 19 — 2 

292 Parry s Instructions 

through any spaces of open water that might occur. My 
proposal was soon after referred to the President and 
Council of the Royal Society, who strongly recommended 
its adoption ; and an Expedition being accordingly directed 
to be equipped for this purpose, I had the honour of being 
appointed to the command of it ; and my commission for 
His Majesty's ship the Hecla, which was intended to 
carry us to Spitsbergen, was dated the 11th of November, 

1826 The hopes I had formed of being able to attain 

this object, and the plan now suggested for putting it into 
execution, were principally founded on a similar proposition 
formerly made by my friend and brother-officer. Captain 
Franklin, who judging of this enterprise by his own ex- 
perience, as well as by that of his associates. Captains 
Buchan and Beechey, though by no means thinking lightly 
of the labour and hazard attending it, had drawn up a plan 
for making the attempt, and himself volunteered to conduct 

it It was proposed to take with us resources for 90 days; 

to set out from Spitsbergen, if possible, about the beginning 
of June ; and to occupy the months of June, July, and 
August, in attempting to reach the Pole, and returning to 
the ship; making an average journey of 13^ miles per 

In Parry's Instructions he was ordered not only to 
proceed northwards over the ice-pack but to organize other 
investigations, the like of which had never previously been 
undertaken in Spitsbergen. The passage has so great an 
historical interest that I quote it in full. 

" Previous to your departure from the Hecla, you are to 
direct Lieutenant Foster to proceed, in a boat fitted for the 
purpose, as soon as the season shall be sufficiently advanced, 
to survey the Northern and Eastern Coast of Spitsbergen, 
and to continue down the latter as far as may be practicable; 
with instructions to him to make observations on the dip, 
variation, and intensity of the Magnetic Needle ; the tem- 
perature ; the barometric pressure of the atmosphere ; and 
such other meteorological phenomena as he may be enabled 
to notice ; the extent of open water ; the quantity, the 
position and nature of the ice ; the depth, temperature, and 
specific gravity of the sea ; and you will also direct him to 
pay attention to the number of Whales he may meet with, in 

The Hecla sails 293 

order that an opinion may be formed as to the expediency 
and practicability of extending the Whale Fishery on that 
Coast ; and you will give him such directions, as to the 
time he is to remain on this Survey, as will ensure his 
return to the Vessel, so as not to endanger her being shut 
up in the Ice for the Winter. While these two operations 
are carrying on by yourself and Lieutenant Foster, you are 
to instruct the Officers left in the Command of the Hecla, 
to employ the Officers and Men remaining on board in 
embracing every opportunity of making all such observations 
as may best contribute to the benefit of general Science, and 
collect and preserve all such specimens of Subjects of 
Natural History, whether Animals, Plants, or Minerals, as 
may be deemed new or curious." 

The Hecla accordingly weighed from the Nore on the 
4th of March, 1827, and was towed out by a steamer, which 
quitted her the same evening. On April 19th she put in to 
Hammerfest to take reindeer on board, the idea being to 
employ them as draught-animals on the ice-pack — an idea 
that was not put into execution. At Hammerfest Parry 
met various residents, especially Messrs Crowe and Wood- 
fall, British merchants already often mentioned in the 
present volume. On April 29th they weighed. The first 
ice was encountered on May 5th. On the 9th they were 
joined by two Peterhead whalers, and several more were 
seen next day. " None of the ships had yet taken a single 
whale, which, indeed, they never expect to do to the south- 
ward of about 78°. " On the 11th they saw Black Point, 
at which time they were in company with 12 whalers, two 
of them being Dutch. On the 14th they arrived off 
Hakluyt Headland but found Fairhaven full of ice. In 
this neighbourhood they weathered a severe storm, and 
then on the 15th drifted eastward in the ice past Cloven 
Cliff along the north coast, near Red Beach. They con- 
tinued drifting eastward in the ice, sometimes in consider- 
able danger from heavy pressures. Lieut. Ross landed on 
Red Beach on the 22nd and found two graves on a hillock 
dated 1 741 and 1762. They landed a boat and reserve of 
provisions on Red Beach on the 29th and then were carried 
across the mouth of Wijde Bay. On June 6th Parry visited 
Mossel Bay, hoping to find it a suitable harbour for the 


294 Parry s Voyage 

Hecla, but in his opinion it was not, though Nordenskiold 
used it successfully about half a century later. All this 
time the weather was beautiful. Day after day during 
more than three weeks "we had a clear and cloudless sky, 
scarcely any wind, and, with the exception of a few days 
previously to the 23rd of May, a warm temperature in the 
shade and quite a scorching sun." They rounded Verlegen 
Hook on the 8th of June and presently got free of ice 
"after a close and tedious besetment of 24 days." On the 
low shore near Verlegen Hook they saw a house, which 
appeared in a ruinous state, and which they supposed to 
have belonged to some Russian settlers. They now 
thought to examine Brandywine Bay for a suitable harbour 
but ice rendered access impossible, so they sailed about on 
their quest and on the 13th visited Walden Island but 
took no comfort from it. Next day they were in lat. 
8i° 5 / 32 // N. and might have gone further to the N.E. had 
there been any reason for it. On the 16th they landed on 
Walden Island and climbed about 300 feet for a view. 
They saw the Seven Islands and believed they saw "some 
land far beyond them to the eastward." It is marked on 
their chart, but no such land really exists. They next 
sailed for Little Table Island " with some slight hope that 
the rock off its northern end might afford shelter for the 
ship." Ross landed on the small rock on the 17th and 
deposited a small store of provisions, as they had also on 
Walden Island. " The islet consists of gneiss, having 
garnets imbedded in some specimens... Lieutenant Ross 
described the rocks as covered with abundance of very 
large tripe-de-roc he, some reindeer moss, and other lichens; 
and there was abundance of good water in pools. A few 
brent-geese, eider-ducks, and a Lestris Parasiticus, were 
all the animals seen." 

Finally they sailed back to Verlegen Hook, where they 
fortunately noticed Treurenberg Bay, which is marked on 
the copy of Gerard Van Keulen's Giles and Rep chart, 
which they had with them. Parry examined it in a boat 
on the 19th, found the cove, since known as Hecla Cove, 
and perceived that it was perfectly suited for his purpose. 
As a matter of fact it served well ; but it was really a very 
dangerous position for a ship, as the Dutch whalers of the 

Parry s Boat-expedition 295 

previous century could have told him. The season of 1827 
from this time forward was a remarkably open one. In 
most seasons Treurenberg Bay, if accessible at all, is so 
only for a short time. No whaler would have ventured to 
leave his ship for two months in Hecla Cove. He would 
expect the mouth of the bay to have been closed at 
any moment and his ship to have been shut in for the 
winter, without hope of release. The reader will remember 
what the Dutch whalers told Croisic in 1693 about the 
danger of this locality. As a matter of fact Mossel Bay 
would have been a safer anchorage than the one chosen, for 
if Wijde Bay is open at all, it remains open longer than the 
bays further east. Parry had colossal luck. 

After berthing the ship and making all necessary ar- 
rangements Parry, Ross, Beverly, and Bird, with two 
boats, and provisions for 71 days, left the Hecla on June 
2 1 st. Crozier accompanied them with one of the ship's 
cutters for the first part of the way. They landed on Low 
Island on the 22nd and made a cache of provisions. On 
the 23rd they landed on Walden Island, whence Crozier 
and his boat were sent back. The same day they also 
landed on Little Table Island. Northward only a small 
quantity of loose ice was in sight, a most unusual condition 
of affairs. At midnight they had rowed to 8o°5i'i3 // . 
Henceforward their progress does not really concern us, 
but we may briefly follow it. Twelve hours later, in 
8i° 1 2' 5 1" they first took to the ice and began their journey 
over it on June 24th, taking to the water when they could, 
and hauling their boats over the floes when they had to. 
They found the pack a very different kind of thing from 
what they had expected. They made unpleasant acquaint- 
ance with its hummocks and soon realized that the flat 
surface they had looked for was not a common feature. 
They also found how soft is the surface in the summer and 
how laborious is the work of dragging things over it. They 
also discovered the merit of sledges running on ski. Before 
long the leaders of the expedition realized that the surface 
over which they were travelling was drifting southwards 
almost as fast as they could advance northwards. Ulti- 
mately this movement beat them. They kept the fact 
secret from their men, in order not to discourage them, but 


296 Parry s FartJiest North 

the men soon began to realize it. On June 29th they were 
only in 8i° 23'. Fogs almost continuously enveloped them. 
Rain was frequent. " The eye wearied itself in vain to 
find any object but ice and sky to rest upon ; and even the 
latter was often hidden from our view by the dense and 
dismal fogs which so generally prevailed. For want of 
variety, the most trifling circumstance engaged a more than 
ordinary share of our attention ; a passing gull, or a mass of 
ice of unusual form, became objects which our situation and 
circumstances magnified into ridiculous importance." The 
surface of the ice was so soft that ''the men, in dragging 
the sledges, were often under the necessity of crawling upon 
all-fours, to make any progress at all." Once it took 2 hours 
to go 150 yards. When, they asked, were they going to 
reach the " main ice " which Captain Lutwidge described as 
"one continued plain of smooth, unbroken ice, bounded 
only by the horizon " ? 

On July 10th they were in 82° 3' 19/' '. On the 14th it 
rained incessantly for 21 hours, "sometimes falling with 
great violence and in large drops." Between the 17th and 
the 20th they only made 5 miles northing. On the 22nd 
after a long and apparently successful march they were 
only in 82°43 / 5". The men began to remark that "we 
were a long time getting to this 83°. " In 82J the floes 
were all still very small, only one piece being in sight on the 
25th on which they could venture to trust the boats while 
they rested. About 7 a.m. on the 23rd they reached their 
highest latitude, which they reckoned was 82° 40'. Their 
highest observed latitude was 82° 40' 23". At the extreme 
point of their journey they were 172 miles from the Hecla. 
" To accomplish this distance we had traversed, by our 
reckoning, 292 miles, of which about 100 were performed 
by water previously to our entering the ice. As we 
travelled by far the greater part of our distance on the 
ice three, or not unfrequently five times over, we may 
safely multiply the length of the road by two and a half; 
so that our whole distance, on a very moderate calculation, 
amounted to 580 geographical, or 668 statute miles, being 
nearly sufficient to have reached the Pole in a direct line." 

On the 27th they turned southward. They gained open 
water on Aug. 11th in 8i°34' after 48 days on the ice. 

Foster s Surveys 297 

They landed next day on the rock north of Table Island 
and named it after Lieutenant Ross. Then they went to 
Walden Island and took a good rest there. Next day they 
named Beverly and Bird Islands, and on the 15th they 
landed on Low Island, of which they made an extensive 
examination, for bad weather delayed them there. They 
could nowhere find "the hexagonal stones mentioned by 
Dr Irving in Phipps's Voyage, as occurring about the 
northern part of the island." Not till the 21st were they 
finally able to get away. They arrived on board the Hecla 
the same evening and found all well. 

During Parry's absence Lieutenant Foster, after making 
an accurate plan of Treurenberg Bay, proceeded on the 
survey of Hinloopen Strait, the shores of which he mapped 
as far to the southward as 79° 33', near Foster's Islands. 
Geological observations were made. Foster recognised 
distinctly almost every feature of the lands delineated in 
the Giles and Rep chart, though their position in latitude 
and longitude was very erroneously laid down. There was 
proof enough however that the old chart was the result of 
sketches made upon the spot. That this fact should have 
required proof in 1827 shows how completely the memory 
of Dutch exploration done only a hundred years before had 
faded away. The neighbourhood of Treurenberg Bay, writes 
Parry, "like most of the northern shores of Spitsbergen, 
appears to have been much visited by the Dutch at a very 
early period ; of which circumstance records are furnished, 
on almost every spot where we landed, by the numerous 
graves which are met with. There are 30 of these on a 
point of land on the north side of the bay 1 . The bodies 
are usually deposited in an oblong wooden coffin, which, on 
account of the difficulty of digging the ground, is not 
buried, but merely covered by large stones ; and a board 
is generally placed near the head, having, either cut or 
painted upon it, the name of the deceased with those of his 
ship and commander and the month and year of his burial. 
Several of these were 50 or 60 years old ; one bore the 
date 1738 ; and another, which I found on the beach to the 
eastward of Hecla Cove, that of 1690' 2 , the inscription 

1 Marked on the accompanying chart. There is a view of and from these 
graves in Torrell's Svenska Expeditionen till Sp. ar 1861 (Stockholm, 1865), 
p. 80. 

2 The same grave was seen by Nordenskiold. 


298 Return of the Hecla 

distinctly appearing in prominent relief, occasioned by the 
preservation of the wood by the paint, while the unpainted 
part had decayed around it." 

Foster specially noted the great glaciers descending to 
the sea between Treurenberg and Lomme Bays, "faithfully 
laid down on the Dutch chart." He saw no whales, but 
observed bones and skeletons of them "in most parts where 
we landed" on the east coast. At Hecla Cove they killed 
70 reindeer. " They were usually met with in herds of 
from 6 or 8 to 20, and were most abundant on the west and 
north sides of the bay." They also killed three bears. The 
hill nearest Hecla Cove was climbed and found to be about 
2000 feet high. " The officers who remained on board the 
Hecla durine the summer described the weather as the 
most beautiful, and the climate altogether the most agree- 
able they had ever experienced in polar regions." It must 
have been an exceptional season. 

On August 28th the Hecla sailed from Treurenberg 
Bay, took on board stores left at Red Beach, whence not a 
scrap of floating ice was visible, rounded Hakluyt's Head- 
land on the 30th, and bade farewell to the Foreland on the 
31st. She arrived in the Thames on October 6th and thus 
completed the most generally successful arctic expedition 
which up to that time had visited Spitsbergen, besides 
establishing a new arctic record for highest North. 

Just as the Hecla was losing sight of Spitsbergen the 
modest sloop conveying the Norwegian geologist Keilhau 
was nearing South Cape. We have already referred to 
Keilhau's observations, made in the weeks immediately 
following, both at South Cape and on Edge Island. 
Keilhau was the first Scandinavian man of science to visit 
Spitsbergen. The scientific exploration of that country 
was destined to be mainly carried out by Scandinavians, 
and Keilhau deserves to be remembered as their fore- 
runner. He went up in the most modest manner, with no 
Government backing or flourish of trumpets, but behind his 
modesty there was the determined scientific spirit. He 
showed that great funds were not required, but that a man 
with the proper intellectual equipment who was willing to 
endure hardship and to work on land could attain valuable 
results at very small expense. His example was not im- 
mediately followed, but ultimately it bore rich fruit. Balthasar 

Keilhau s Voyage 299 

Mathias Keilhau deserves his little niche of fame in the 
temple of scientific honour 1 . It was ten years before 
another Scandinavian followed Keilhau's example. In 1837 
Professor Sven Loven, of Stockholm, visited the west coast 
of Spitsbergen for the purposes of geological and general 
scientific study. His journal has never, I believe, been 
published, but a passage from it describing his boat ex- 
pedition up King's Bay is quoted by TorrelP. It is also 
recorded that he dredged along the west coast. He 
visited Green Harbour in Ice Sound and doubtless other 
west coast bays. Sven Loven was the man who, 20 years 
later, inspired Torrell to undertake a scientific exploration 
of Spitsbergen. Torrell's expedition of 1858 and the series 
of important Swedish expeditions of later years, with which 
the name of Nordenskiold is so prominently connected, were 
the direct result of Loven's initiative, and, though I have 
never seen the fact authoritatively stated, there can be little 
doubt that Loven was himself prompted by Keilhau, who 
just did not live long enough to hear of Torrell's start. 
With these Swedish expeditions we are not here con- 
cerned. They belong to the later branch of our subject 
which lies beyond the scope of the present volume. 

In fact our story is almost told, but there still remain 
two more expeditions which may properly be brought 
within it. These were the visits paid to Spitsbergen in 
1838 and 1839 by the French cruiser La Recherche. 
That vessel was sent out by the French Government to 
make a study of the northern parts of Norway and Sweden 
and the neighbouring lands and waters. Her visits to 
Spitsbergen were only minor incidents in two seasons' 
cruising. Messrs Crowe and Woodfall were again helpful 
to this expedition. 

In 1838 the Recherche anchored in Schoonhoven of 
Bell Sound on July 25th, and the bay was unjustifiably 

1 Born 1797 near Christiania. Devoted himself to Scandinavian geology, 
Professor in University of Christiania from 1826. Studied specially the geology 
and natural history of the Nordland. 1827 visited Bear Island and Spitsbergen. 
1828 travelled in Finmark. 1831 published his Spitsbergen book. There is 
a portrait of him in the Geological Museum at Christiania. He published his 
autobiography in 1857, and died 1 Jan. 1858. Everest, who met him at Hammerfest 
in 1827, describes him as "a young man of great talents and enthusiasm... 
equalled by few in his power of enduring fatigue." 

2 Vide L. Passarge's translation of Torrell's Nordenskiold (Jena, 1869), 
pp. 287-291. 


300 Voyage of La Recherche 

renamed after her. When the number of interesting events 
are remembered, which took place in that bay centuries 
before any French ship ever went there — Pelham's winter- 
ing, the English settlement there, the Russian settlement, 
the yearly gathering of the Dutch whalers at the end of 
the season — it was really impertinent for a mere visitor at 
so late a date to arrogate the right to suppress all these 
old memories and bury them beneath a new name given 
in record of a very unimportant occurrence. Such, how- 
ever, has been the way of modern visitors to Spitsbergen, 
and perhaps the worst of all offenders in this kind are the 

The officers of the Recherche set up an observatory on 
Observatory Hill (564 m.), the ascent of which is not so 
difficult as their account implies. They made a number of 
observations on the meteorology, the geology, and botany 
of the neighbourhood, and so forth ; they likewise made an 
excellent survey of the bay. On the 5th of August the 
Recherche sailed for Norway. She returned again next 
year, having on board Monsieur Biard and his young wife, 
who wrote an account of her visit to the arctics. This time 
they anchored in English Cove of Magdalena Bay and 
set up their observatory on the burial-ground. A boat 
expedition was made as far as Amsterdam Island, and 
Magdalena Bay was surveyed. The Recherche quitted 
Spitsbergen for good on August 13th. The results of these 
two short visits to the bays of Spitsbergen were described 
in the general account of the voyage, and they were illus- 
trated by some most admirable views of the scenery, which 
are by far the best ever published before the days of 
photography. What may have been the value of the 
scientific observations I am not in a position to affirm. 

Another French man-of-war, La Mane he, visited Ice 
Sound in 1892 with Mons. Rabot on board, whilst the 
British Training Squadron spent a few days in Bell Sound 
in 1895, but these incidents fall beyond the limits of the 
present enquiry. A new volume of Spitsbergen history 
opens with Sven Loven's visit in 1837 ; the future historian 
of the modern scientific exploration of Spitsbergen must 
make that his point of departure. The chronological list 
of voyages and events here appended may be of service to 
him. It does not claim to be complete. 

RECORDED FROM 1847 TO 1900 \ 

1847. Capt. Lund, in the sloop Antoinette, navigated Walter Thymen's Strait 
for the first time on record (Heuglin, vol. i. p. 175). 

1855. Observations on the Birds of West Spitsbergen, by Messrs Evans and 

Sturge (Ibis, 1859, pp. 166-174). 

1856. Lord Dufferin visited English Bay in his yacht, the Foam. 

1858. Swedish Expedition : Torrell, Quennerstadt, and Nordenskiold in the 

Lamont took his yacht, the Genevra, to Spitsbergen and explored Wybe 

Jans Water. 
This year the walrus hunters rediscovered Heley Sound (Passarge's 

Torrell and Nordenskiold, p. 474). The discovery was probably made 

by Johannes Neilsen, of Tromso (R. G. S. Proc. 1864-5, p. 308). 

1859. Lamont in the yacht Genevra again hunted in Wybe Jans Water. The 

Norwegian skipper Elling Carlsen, in the brig Jan Mayen, hunted in 
Olga Strait, and came within two miles of Swedish Foreland. 

1861. Torrell, Nordenskiold, and other Swedes, in the Aeolus and Magdalena, 

spent four months exploring the coast of Spitsbergen. 

1862. A party climbed the peak of Middle Hook in Bell Sound (Record found 

by Koldeway, in 1868). 

1863. Elling Carlsen, in the Jan Mayen, circumnavigated the whole Spitsbergen 

group for the first time. 

1864. Nordenskiold and other Swedes, in the Axel Thordsen, went up to com- 

plete the work of preliminary survey for the measurement of an arc 
of the meridian. 

Messrs E. Birkbeck and A. Newton, in the yacht Sidtana, made observa- 
tions on the Birds of Spitsbergen (Ibis, 1865, pp. 199 and 496). They 
found three Norwegians living in the Russian hut at Advent Point. 

The Norwegian walrus-skippers, Tobiesen, Mathilas, and Aarstrom, 
having sailed round North-east Land, were compelled to abandon their 
sloops. They rowed up Hinloopen Strait, and round to Ice Sound 
(R. G. S. Proc. ix. 1864-5, p. 308). 

A sloop this year navigated Heley Sound (Lamont, Arctic Seas, p. 252). 

1867. Captain Ronnbak, of Hammerfest, circumnavigated West Spitsbergen 

(Brogger and Rolfsen's Nansen, London, 1896, p. 267). 

1868. Nordenskiold and other Swedes, in the steamer Sofia, visited especially 

the north coast of Spitsbergen and North-east Land. 
The first German Arctic expedition, under Koldeway, in the Gronland, 
explored principally the east coast and bays of Spitsbergen and 
Hinloopen Strait. They circumnavigated West Spitsbergen. 

1869. Lamont, in the yacht Diana, hunted chiefly in and about Wybe Jans 

Water. He passed through Heley Sound in a boat. 
Between 1868 A journey made by Dorst and Bessels to Spitsbergen, " auf 
and 1870. Rosenthal'schen Fahrzeugen," is mentioned by Heuglin. 

1870. M. Th. von Heuglin explored chiefly the east coast and the coasts of Edge 

and Barents Islands. 
Drs Nathorst and Wilander made a geological expedition to Ice Fiord. 

3 For references see Bibliography. 

302 Modern Voyages 

1871. Lamont, in the yacht Diana, visited the west coast of Spitsbergen and 

the south coast of Edge Island, also the Kyk Yse Islands. 

Leigh Smith, in the yacht Sampson, explored the north coast of Spits- 
bergen, Hinloopen Strait, the Seven Islands, and the north coast of 
North-east Land (the Field, 1872, p. 45). 

This year tourists were for the first time taken to Spitsbergen by a small 
Hammerfest steamer. 

1872. Leigh Smith, in the yacht Sampson, visited the north coast of Spits- 


Graf Wilczek, in the Isbjm-n, surveyed Horn Sound. 

The walrus-skippers, Altman, Johnsen, and Nilsen, landed on King Carl's 
Island (Petermann Mitt. 1873, p. 121 and Tafel 7). 

A Swedish Company, formed to exploit the coprolite beds, built a house 
(called Nordenskiold's house), at Cape Thordsen, and laid down a tram- 
line ; but the enterprise was abandoned (see Redogbrelse for den sv. 
polarex. ar 1872-3, p. 10, by Nordenskiold, in Bihang K. S. Vet. 
Akad. Hand. 1875, Bd. 2, no. 18). 

Several Norwegian sloops being shut up in the ice, an unsuccessful 
attempt was made to rescue them by a steamer sent from Hammerfest, 
in November, but ice prevented her from advancing further than 
South Cape. Seventeen men who abandoned their sloops off Eed 
Beach took refuge in the new house at Cape Thordsen, and all died 

Swedish Polar Expedition, under Nordenskiold, in the s.s. Polhem and the 
brig Gladan, wintered in Mossel Bay. Norwegian sloops were beset 
at Grey Hook, two off Red Beach. The Grey Hook crews wintered 
with the Swedes. 

1873. Nordenskiold explored North-east Land, and crossed it with sledges. On 

June 6th sloops arrived at Mossel Bay, and on June 12th relief was 
brought by Leigh Smith, in the steam-yacht Diana. Visits were 
paid to the Seven Islands and other places. Leigh Smith also visited 
the Seven Islands. 
Dr R. von Drasche-Wartinberg visited Ice Sound for geological study. 

1874. The Marquis of Ormonde and Mr Henry Osborn, in the yacht Mirage, 

visited Ice Sound on a sporting expedition. 
The English whalers, David and John Gray, made investigations as to 
the nature and drift of the ice-pack near Spitsbergen. 

1878. The Norwegian North Atlantic Expedition visited South Cape, Advent 

Bay, and Fairhaven. 

1879. A very open year north of Spitsbergen. Skipper J. Kjelsen, of Tromso, 

sailed in open sea 60 miles north of the Seven Islands. 

1880. Leigh Smith, returning from Franz Josef Land, followed the edge of the 

pack to Hope Island, and went up Wybe Jans Water to Heley Sound. 

1881. The U.S. s. Alliance visited Spitsbergen waters searching for the Jeanette. 
A tourist-steamer went to Ice and Bell Sounds. Amongst its passengers 

were Messrs A. H. Cocks, Abel Chapman, and Phillipps Wolley, who 
made and published observations on the natural history. Wolley 
(p. 331) tells of one Gamle Becke, a Norwegian hunter, who yearly at 
this time was wont to come up to Spitsbergen in a little open boat, 
following the first whalers, to shoot reindeer. " He is an old man, 
but he comes alone, and, though he is glad now and then to be taken 
in tow by a bigger vessel, he has no fear of the Northern seas." 

1882. Cocks and Rabot went up to Ice Sound on the 40-ton smack, Cecilie 

Nathorst and De Geer, in the Bjona, made an important geological expe- 
dition to the bays of the west coast. 
1882-3. A Swedish Meteorological Expedition, in conjunction with the Inter- 
national Polar Exploration movement, settled for a year at Cape 

to Spitsbergen 303 

Thordsen. Lieut. H. Stjernspetz, in Aug. 1883, explored and mapped 
Dickson Bay. 

1883. Capt. Arnesen, a Norwegian hunting skipper, went to the Ryk Yse 

Islands and about Wybe Jans Water. In the north-east of Edge 
Island they shot some " castrated and ear-marked " reindeer, which 
must have been some that escaped from Nordenskiold's settlement at 
Mossel Bay in the winter of 1872-3 (Ymer, iv. p. 88). 

1884. Skipper Johannesen, of Tromso, approached Wiche Islands from the east ; 

Hemming Andreasen reached them from the south ( Ymer, ix. 65). 

1885. The doings of the Norwegian hunting sloops this year are recorded in 

Ymer, v. p. 232. They got as far as Brandywine Bay, and down 
Hinloopen Strait to Wahlberg Island. 

1886. Dr Kuckenthal made an unimportant visit to Advent Bay as passenger 

in a small whaler. 

1887. Skipper E. H. Johannesen rediscovered an island east of North-east Land 

(Ymer, vn. p. 179). 

1888. Sir Henry Gore Booth, in his yacht Lancashire Witch, visited Spitsbergen 

on a sporting expedition, and reached the north cape of North-east 
1888-9. Mr Arnold Pike built a hut on the north shore of Danes Island, and 
wintered there. 

1889. Skipper Andreasen explored Wiche Islands (Ymer, ix. p. 64). 

Herren W. Kukenthal and A. Walther, of Bremen, visited the east side 
of Spitsbergen, landed on Wiche Islands, proceeded up Hinloopen 
Strait, and circumnavigated West Spitsbergen. 

1890. Gustaf Nordenskiold and others visited Spitsbergen and crossed overland 

from Horn Sound to Bell Sound, and from Advent Bay to Coles Bay, 
besides entering various harbours on a scientific mission. 
This year Captain Bade brought up a tourist ship to Spitsbergen, and 
continued to do so annually till 1896, and often later. 

1891. Leo Cremer visited Spitsbergen with Capt. Bade, and made a study of 

the coal beds in Advent and King's Bays. 
Prinz Heinrich von Bourbon visited Spitsbergen in the yacht Fleur 
de Lys. 

1892. Prinz Heinrich von Bourbon again visited Spitsbergen in the same 

The Duke of Hamilton visited Ice Sound in the yacht Thistle. 
The French cruiser La Manche visited some of the bays of the west coast. 

Mons. Rabot landed in Sassen Bay and explored the Sassendal to the 

mouth of Fulmar Valley. 
1893-4. The Norwegian sailors Brakmo and Oxnas wintered in Bell Sound, 

and supported themselves by hunting (Petermann Mitt. 1894, p. 248). 

1894. Mr Wellman with an American Polar Expedition was wrecked near 

Walden Island. They built a hut there, and ultimately escaped 

over the ice-pack and in boats to Fairhaven. 
Colonel Feilden and Mr Parker visited Green Harbour and Danes Island 

in the yacht Saide. 
The Orient Company's s.s. Lusitania visited Spitsbergen and reached 

80° 30' N. in open sea. Mr V. H. Gatty landed in Sassen Bay and 

climbed Mount Lusitania (Alpine Journal, xvn. p. 309). 
1894-5. Martin H. Ekroll of Skroven in Lofoten, with the schooner Willem 

Barents, wintered at Habenicht Bay and had parties at Andersen 

Island and at Botsche Island (so he told me, but see Petermann 

Mitt. 41, p. 247). 

1895. Visit of H.M. Training Squadron to Bell Sound. 

1895-6. Klaas Thue and another Norwegian sailor wintered at Advent Bay 
Their journal was published by the Aftenposten of Christiania. 

1896. Baron De Geer made a geological expedition to Ice and Bell Sounds. 

304 Modern Voyages 

Sir Martin Conway and others explored the interior between Ice and Bell 
Sounds and Agardh Bay. They crossed Spitsbergen for the first time 
and visited the bays of the north coast and Walden Island, and passed 
down Hinloopen Strait to near Wiche Islands. 

Capt. Bade took the tourist steamer Erling Jarl to lat. 81° 37' N. 

The Vesteraalen Steamship Co. built a tourist hut at Advent Point and 
established a weekly service of tourist steamers from Tromso during 
the summer. The service was discontinued and the hut abandoned 
after 1897. 

Herr Andree established himself by Pike's house in Danes Gat, set up his 
balloon-house there, and made ready for his balloon attempt to reach 
the North Pole, but the season was unfavourable, so he returned to 

1897. Heir Andree returned to Danes Gat, and on July 11th ascended with two 

companions in the balloon Eagle. They were not afterwards heard of. 

In connexion with Andree's enterprise and its unfortunate end, the follow- 
ing pamphlet (which I have not succeeded in finding) is worth mention: 
Beschreibung einer wunderbaren Luftreise von den Spitzbergen nock 
dem Monde, 1787, 8vo. The place of publication is not recorded. 

Parties from Andree's ship, the Virgo, made surveys of Smeerenburg Bay 
and the neighbourhood. 

Mr Arnold Pike cruised east of Spitsbergen and landed on Wiche Islands. 

Sir Martin Conway and Mr Garwood explored the interior between Klaas 
Bille and Wijde Bays and between King's Bay and Ice Sound. They 
also surveyed Horn Sound and climbed Horn Sunds Tind. 

This year the Spitsbergen Gazette was published at the tourist hut at 
Advent Point. 

1898. The German Government sent a vessel, the Olga, to examine the possi- 

bility of establishing a fishery on the west coast of Spitsbergen. 

She visited the western bays. 
Drs F. Rbmer and F. Schaudrinn went to Spitsbergen and Wiche Islands 

on behalf of the Berlin Natural History Museum, joining a private 

expedition for the purpose of making zoological observations and 

The Prince of Monaco landed on Hope and Barents Islands and at 

various points in Ice Sound and made expeditions inland. 
Nathorst made an important scientific expedition, circumnavigating 

Spitsbergen and landing on Giles Land and Wiche Islands, which he 

thoroughly explored. 
Swedish and Russian expeditions began the measurement of an arc of 

the meridian in Spitsbergen. 

1899. The Swedish and Russian expeditions continued their work, and climbed 

a high peak near Wijde Bay. They wintered in Spitsbergen in 1899- 

The Prince of Monaco surveyed Red Bay and its neighbourhood and 

visited other parts of the north coast. 
This year a Norwegian skipper brought away a cargo of coal from 


1900. A very icy season in West Spitsbergen : even Ice Sound could not be 

entered till late, but Capt. Bade took a tourist steamer to Franz 

Josef Land. 
The Swedes and Russians completed the work of measuring an arc of 

the meridian. 
A coal -shaft was sunk by a Trondhjem syndicate near the shore at Advent 

Bay. After blasting through 40 feet of clear fossil ice, solid rock was 

reached, and 20 feet lower a seam of coal 10 ft. thick. A Company 

was afterwards formed to work this deposit. 


The titles of hooks which have leen consulted in the British Museum are followed 
by B.M. and the class-mark. B.R.H. indicates books consulted in the Royal 
Library at the Hague. Where scientific papers are referred to, it is because of 
the geographical information they contain. No attempt has been made to 
include a list of the papers dealing with the geology and natural history of 


A. Gr. Camus. Memoire sur la collection des Grands et Petits Voyages et sur la 
collection des voyages de Melchisedec Thevenot. Paris: 1802. 4to. 

Frederick Mullee. Essai d'nne Bibliographic Neerlando-Russe, etc. Amsterdam: 
1 Oct. 1859. 4to. B.M. 11901, k. 3. 

P. A. Tiele. Memoire bibliographique sur les journaux des navigateurs neerlandais 
reimprimes dans les collections de de Bry, etc. Amsterdam : 1867. 8vo. 

Dr. Josef Chavanne. Die Litteratur iiber die Polar-Regionen der Erde von Dr. 
Josef Chavanne, Dr. Alois Karpf, Franz Ritter von Le Monnier. Wien : 
1878. 8vo. 

Alexander Leslie. The Arctic "Voyages of A. E. Nordenskjold, 1858-1879. 
London: 1879. 8vo. 

Appendix II. contains a list of books and memoirs relating to the Swedish 
Arctic Expeditions (150 titles of publications from 1857-1877). Passarge's 
German translation (Leipzig, 1880 : 8vo) contains a completer bibliography 
(193 titles). 

P. A. Tiele. Nederlandische Bibliographie van Land- en Volkenkunde. Amster- 
dam : 1884. 8vo. 

Valuable references to atlases and early Dutch voyages. B.M. Ac. 9621. 

C. 20 

306 Bibliography 


Gio. Battista Ramusio. Delle Navigationi et Viaggi Raccolte da M.G.'B.R., etc. 
3 vols. Vol. iii. Venice : 1606. fol. 

Contains (fol. 398) an Italian translation of G. de Veer's ' Three Voyages.' 

J. Theodore De Bry and J. Israel De Bry. India Orientalis. Oppenheim : 
1619. fol. 

Part iii. contains G. de Veer's narrative, and Part xi. contains Hessel 
Gerrits' tract on the history of Spitsbergen. 

Gillis Ioosten Saeghman. Verscheyde Oost Indiscbe Voyagien met de 
Beschrijvingen van Indien. Amsterdam : various dates. 4to. 

This is a collection of various pamphlets printed by Saeghman, which are 
here bound together behind a specially engraved title-page. Among the 
contents are included Barents' voyage of 1596-7, Raven's Journal, 
Vander Brugge's Journal, and the Journal of the winterers of 1634-5 who 
died. B.M. 10,057, dd. 50. 

Purchas his Pilgrimes. 4 vols. London : 1625. fol. 

The third volume contains various accounts of " Northerne Navigations." 

Isaac Commelijn. Begin ende Voortgangh vande Neederlandtsche Oostindische 
Compagnie. With Map. Amsterdam : s.d. (1644). Oblong 4to. B.M. 
566, f. 16-19. 

Other editions in 1645 and 1646. 

Vol. i. contains G. de Veer's account of Barents' voyage of 1596. 

R.A. Constantin de Reneville. Recueil des Voyages qui ont servi a l'etablisse- 

ment et aux progrez de la Compagnie des Indes orientales, formee Dans les 

Provinces- Unies des Pais-Bas. 10 vols. 2nd edition. Rouen : 1725. 12mo. 

Vol. i. contains a paraphrase of G. de Veer's account of Barents' voyage of 

1596 (pp. 86-209). 

An English translation of vols. i. and ii. is ■ A Collection of Voyages 
undertaken by the Dutch East India Company, etc' London: 1703. 8vo. 
John Churchill. A Collection of Voyages and Travels. 6 vols. London: 
1704-32. fol. Third and best edition. London : 1744-46. fol. 

Vol. ii. contains the Journal of the seven Dutch Winterers of 1634-35 
(p. 427) ; the story of the shipwreck in 1646 (p. 429) ; Le Peyrere's account of 
Greenland (p. 470). Vol. iv. (p. 808) contains 'God's Power and Providence,' 
and the Muscovy Company's map. 

An Account of several late Voyages and Discoveries. I. Sir John Narborough's 
Voyage. II. Captain J. Tasman's Discoveries. III. Captain J. Wood's Attempt 
to discover a North-East Passage. IV. F. Martens' Observations made in 
Greenland, and other Northern Countries. London : 1711. 8vo. 



J. F. Bernard. Recueil de Voiages au Nord. 10 vols. Amsterdam : 1715-38. 

12mo. B.M. 1045, a. 3. 

Vol. i. contains "Quelques Memoires pour ceux qui vont a, la Peche de la 

Baleine " (pp. 73 and 189), and " La Peyrere's Relation du Greenland " (p. 85). 

Vol. ii. contains a French translation of Martens' voyage. 
John Harris. Navigantium atque Itinerantium Bibliotbeca. Or a complete 

Collection of Voyages and Travels. Now carefully revised, etc. 2 vols, in 4. 

London : 1744-48. fol. 

Vol. ii. («) pp. 387-398, contains information about Spitsbergen and the 

whale-fishery, but all of it at second hand. 
Johann Reinhold Forster. Geschichte der Entdeckungen und Schiffahrten im 

Norden. Frankfurt a. d. Oder: 1784. 8vo. English translation, London: 

1786. 4to. 

Contains an abstract of the usual voyages from Barents to Phipps. 

J. L. H. S. de Perthes. Histoire des Naufrages. 3 vols. Paris: an. iii. (1795). 
8vo. 2nd Edition, revised and enlarged by J. B. B. Eyries. 3 vols. Paris : 
1821. 12mo. B.M. 304, f. 9 and 1424 c. 

Contains paraphrases of Barents' voyage of 1596-97, the Smeerenburg 
wintering in 1634-35, and the adventures of four Russian sailors in 1743. 

A German translation of part of this collection is ' Geschichte der Schiff- 
briiche und Uiberwinterungen in Gronland, Nova Zembla und Spitzbergen.' 
Prag : 1798. 8vo. This also contains a translation of • God's Power and 
Providence,' etc. B.M. 10,460, a. 3. 
John Pinkerton. A General Collection of the best and most interesting Voyages, 
etc. 17 vols. London : 1808-14. 4to. 

Vol. i. contains the Journal of the seven Dutch winterers of 1634-35 
(p. 535) ; the story of the shipwreck in 1646 (p. 537) ; Phipps' Journal 
(p. 538) ; P. L. Le Roy's " Russian Sailors in East Spitsbergen " (p. 595) ; and 
Dr. S. Bacstrom's Voyage to Spitsbergen in 1780 (p. 614). 
J. F. Laharpe. Abrege de l'Histoire Generate des Voyages [Prevost's]. 24 vols. 
Paris: 1816. 8vo. 

Vols. 15 and 16 contain the accounts of the voyages of Barents in 1596 and 
of Phipps in 1773. 
Sir John Barrow. Voyages of Discovery and Research within the Arctic Regions, 
from the year 1818 to the present time, abridged and arranged from the 
original Narratives. London : 1846. 8vo. 

Chap, iii., Buchan's Voyage ; chap, v., Sabine's visit to Spitsbergen ; 
chap, ix., Parry's Voyage. 



t#«** in 

308 Bibliography 


J. K. J. de Jonge. De opkomst van het Nederlandsch gezag in Oost-Indie, 1595- 
1610. Verzameling van onuitgegeven stukken uit het Oud-Koloniaal Archief. 
The Hague and Amsterdam : 1862, etc. 8vo. B.M. 9056, gg. 

Nicolaas van Wassenaee. Historisch verhael alder ghedenck-weerdichste 
geschiedenisse die hier en daer in Europa . . . van de beginne des jaers 1621 
. . . (tot Octobri . . . 1632) voorgevallen syn. 21 deel. Amsterdam : 
1622-35. 4to. B.M. 9073, b. 4. 

Contains many contemporary documents relating to the whale-fishery at 

Lieuwe Aitzema. Saken van Staet en Oorlogh [1621-1669]. 6 vols. The 
Hague: 1669-72. Fol. B.M. 1310, 1. 1-6. 

Cornelius Gisbebt Zorgdbageb. Bloeyende Opkomst der Aloude en Heden- 
daagsche Groenlandsche Visschery. Met eene hist. Beschryving der Nordere 
Gemesten, voornamentlyk Groenlandt, Yslandt, Spitsbergen, Nova Zembla, 
Jan Mayen Eilandt, de Straat Davis en al't aanmerklykste in t'Ontdekking 
deezer Landen. Met byvoeging van de Walvischvangst, etc. Door Abraham 
Moubach. With 6 Maps and 7 Plates. Amsterdam : 1720. 4to. B.M. 572, 
c. 30. 

. (2nd edition.) Met aanmerkelyke zaaken vermeerdert, nevens beschryving 

van de Terreneufsche Bakkeljau-Visschery. With 6 Maps and 11 Plates. 
The Hague : 1727. 4to. 

. (3rd edition.) . Amsterdam : 1728. 4to. 

. (German translation.) Alte und neue Gronlandische Fischerie und Wall- 

fischfang . . . Beschreibung von Gronland, Island, Spitzbergen, Nova Zembla, 
Jan Mayen Eiland, der Strasse Davis u. a. ausgefertiget durch Abraham 
Moubach. With Maps and Plates. Leipzig : 1723. 4to. 

. (2nd edition.) Beschreibung des Gronlandischen Wallfischfangs und 

Fischerey, nebst einer griindlichen Nachricht von dem Bakkeljau und Stock- 
fischfang bey Terreneuf, etc. With Maps and Plates. Niirnberg : 1750. 4to. 

. (3rd edition.) Niirnberg und Miinchen : 1752. 4to. 

(English translation.) View of the Greenland Trade and Whale-fishery. 

London : 1725. This is probably the following book. 
Henby Elking. A view of the Greenland Trade and Whale-Fishery. (First 

edition, 1722.) 2nd edition. London : 1725. 4to. B.M. 1028, h. 16 (9). 
Gerket Van Sante. Alphabethische Naam-lyst van alle de Groenlandsche en 

Straat-Davissche Commandeurs, die zedert het jaar 1700 op Greenland, en 

Bibliography 309 

zedert het jaar 1719 op de Straat-Davis voor Holland en andere provincien, 
hebben gevaaren. Haarlem : 1770. 4to. B.M. 10,460, f. 22. 

Hon. Daines Barrington. The possibility of approaching the North Pole. 

London : 1775. 4to. 
. Third edition, with an Appendix containing papers on the same subject 

arid on a North-West Passage by Colonel Beaufoy. London : 1828. 8vo. 
. Miscellanies. London : 1781. 4to. 

T. Pennant. Introduction to the Arctic Zoology. 3 vols. London : 1792. 4to. 
Information about Spitsbergen, vol. 3, pp. cxxxii. and cxlvii. 

S. B. J. Noel de la Moriniere. Memoire sur l'antiquite de la Peche de la 
Baleine, par les Nations europeennes. Bouen : [1795 ?]. 8vo. B.M. b. 335. 
Contains information about the Basque whalers. 

C. Bernard de Eeste. Histoire des Peches, des decouvertes et des etablissemens 
des Hollandois dans les mers du nord. 3 vols. 2nd edition. Paris : an ix. 
(1801). 8vo. B.M. 150, d. 13. 

Chap, xxxv., Du Spitsberg, with map. It contains nothing original. 

J. Le Molne de l'Espine and Isaac de Long. De Koophandel van Amsterdam 
en andre Nederlandsche Steden. 4 vols. 10th edition. Amsterdam : 1801-2. 
8vo. B.M. 8245, dd. 24. 

Yol. ii. 283-309. Account of the Dutch whale-fishery. 

W. Scoresby. An Account of the Arctic Regions. 2 vols. Edinburgh. 1820. 8vo. 

R. G. Bennet and J. van Wijk. Verhandeling over de Nederlandsche 
Ontdekkingen in Amerika, Australia, de Indien, en de Poollanden, etc., with 
map of Spitsbergen. Utrecht : 1827. 8vo. 

Bound and issued in Nieuwe Verhandelingen van het Provinciaal Utrechtsch 
Oenootschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen. Vol. vi. Utrecht : 1830- 
8vo. B.M. Ac. 970. 

A. Charitonow. Die russischen Promyschleniks auf Grumant (Spitsbergen) ; 
ihre Sagen und Ueberlieferungen. 

Erman's Archivfur wissenschaftliche Kunde von Bussland. Berlin : 1851. 
Pp. 154-175. 

Captain Jansen of the Dutch Navy. Notes on the Ice between Greenland and 
Nova Zembla ; being the Results of Investigations into the Records of Early 
Dutch Voyages in the Spitzbergen Seas. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical 
Society, vol. ix. (London), 1864-65, pp. 163-181. 
A good short account of the Dutch whale-fishery. 

A. Petermann. Spitzbergen und die arktische Central-Region. Petermanns 
Geographische Mittheilungen, Ergiinzungsheft, No. 16. Gotha : 1865. 4to. 

N. Duner and A. E. Nordenskiold. Anteckningar till Spetsbergens Geografl. Med 
en Karta. K. Svensha Vetens. Ahad. Handlingar, vi. No. 5. Stockholm : 
1865. 4to. 

. (English translation.) Explanatory remarks in illustration of a map of 

Spitzbergen. Stockholm : 1865. 8vo. 

A. E. Nordenskiold. Utkast till Spetsbergens Geologi. K. Svensha Vetens. 
Ahad. Handlingar, vi. No. 7. Stockholm. 1866. 4to. 

3 1 o BibliogmpJiy 

X. Dunee and A. E. Nordenskpold. Forberedande Undersdkningar rorande 
utforbarheten af en Gradmatning pa Spitsbergen. K. Svenska Vetens. Akad. 
Handlingar, vi. No. 8. Stockholm : 1866. 4to. 

A. Ch. Grad. Esquisse physique des iles Spitzbergen et du Pole Arctique. Paris : 
1866. 8vo. B.M. 10,460, d. 17. 

A compilation based on the published results of the Swedish expeditions. 

John Lothrop Motley. History of the United Netherlands from the Death of 
William the Silent to the Twelve Years' Truce — 1609. 4 vols. New York : 
1868. 8vo. 

Chap, xxxvi. and the authorities quoted deal with the rise of Dutch enter- 
prize in the northern seas. 

M. Lindemann. Die arktische Fischerei der Deutschen Seestadte. Petermanns 
Geog. Mitt., Erg. Heft, No. 26. Gotha, 1869. 4to. 

Samukl Mijller. Mare Clausum. Bijdrage tot de Geschiedenis der Rivaliteit 
van Engeland en Nederland in de zeventiende Eeuw. Amsterdam : 1872. 
8vo. B.M. 6006, i. 17 (1). 

Clements R. Markham. The Threshold of the Unknown Region. London: 
1873. 8vo. 4th edition. London : 1876. 8vo. 
Contains a sketch of Spitsbergen history. 

SAMUEL MtTLLEB. Geschiedenis der Noordsche Compagnie : Utrecht. 1874. 8vo. 

S. U. van- Campen. The Dutch in the Arctic Seas. London : 1876. 8vo. 
The first volume only was published. 

(W.Hunt?). The Trade and Commerce of Hull. Hull : 1878. 8vo. B.M. 8228, 
b. 40. 

i''. de Has. Het doopregister van Spitsbergen volgens Reisjournalen en Kaarten. 

Tijd. Aardrijksk. Genoots. Amsterdam : 1879. Pp. 1-30. 
Pbiedbich von Hellwald. Im ewigen Eis. Geschichte der Nordpol-Fahrten von 

den iiltesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart. Stuttgart: 1881. 8vo. B.M. 

10,460, ee. 38. 

Clements B. Mabkham. On the Whale Fishery of the Basque Provinces of 
Spain, /'roc. Zoological Soc. (London), December 13, 1881. 

A. I']. NoBDENBKIOLD. Kemarks made at a meeting of the Swedish Geographical 
Society, March 21, 188-1, with reference to the objections made by Russia and 
Holland to the proposal of Sweden to annex Spitsbergen. Ymer, vol. iv. 
A pp. xvi. 

F. E. Beddabd. A liook of Whale. 1 -. (Progressive Science Series.) London: 
L900. 8vo. 

SlB Mautin CONWAY. Some unpublished Spitsbergen MSS. Geographical 
Jour im/ (London), June, 1900. 

Bibliography 311 


N.B. — Tke dates preceding each err ion, hut to 


1596. Willem Barents. Extract from L.- _ from May 18 fee Tmtj I. 1596, 

■ the discovery of Spitsbergen. 
Printed in Hessel Gen-its' ' Histoire du pays Spitsbergen,' y; 
and reprinted in Mullers ' Noordsche Compagnie,' pp. f 

1596. Geeeit i>e Veee. Vaeraehtighe Besehrijvinghe van drie St. I hi 
werelt noyt soo vreemt ghehoort, drie jaeren acbter malcanderen dev.- 
Hollandtsche ende Zeelandteehe schepen by noorden, Noorweghen. Moscovia. 
ende Tartaria, na de coninckrijeken van Catthay ende Chii - -uede 
vande opdoeninghe vande Weygats. Nova Senile '.a, ei van't landt 0) 

grade, dat men acht G-r. ;. etc. Amsterdam: IS - 

Oblong iio. B.M. 566, f. 13 (2) : 436, b. 18 (3> 

1596. . Latin translation by C. C. A. ^Carolus Clusius Atrebatan^ s 

Diarium nauticum seu vera descriptio trium navigationum admiran- 
darum . . . turn ut detecta fuerint Weygatz fretum. Nova Zenibla, et 
Begio sub SO gradu sita quam Groenlandiam esse censent, quaru nullus 
unquam adijt. Amsterdam: 1596. -ito. Piffc Camus. ' Memoire." pp. 
197, 205 ; Tiele, ' Memoire,' p. 103. 

1596. . Translated by "William Phillip. The True and perfect Descrip- 
tion of three Voyages, so strange arid woonderfull. . . . Doue and per- 
formed three yeares, one ofter the other, by the Ships of Holland and 
Zeland . . . shewing the discouerie of the Straights of "vVeigates, Noua 
Zembla, and the Countrie lying vnder SO. degrees : etc. London : 1609. 

Reprinted by the Hakluyt Society. Edited by C. T. Beke. London : 
1S53. Svo. Another edition edited by Lieut. Koolemaus Beynen. Lon- 
don : 1S76, Svo. There were numerous earlier reprints aud translations 
published, eg. in the collections of Raumsio, De Bry. Saeghman, Purchas, 
Commelijn, Beneville, Forster, Perthes, Laharpe, and others. 

1596. Jan Cokxelisz. Bijf. Affidavit by J. 0. K. relating to the discovery 

Spitsbergen, etc. Printed on pp. 23-26 of J. K. J. de Jonge's ' De 
Opkomst van het Nederlandsch gong in Oost-Iudie," 1595-1610. Yerea- 
meling van onuitgegeven stukken uit het Oud-Koloniaal Archief. The 
Hague and Amsterdam : 1S62, etc. Svo. 

1596. Affidavits made by Arent Martenssen of Antwerp and Anthoine Chs 
Herman, ship's captain, of Leyden, describing the discovery of Spitsbc - 
by Barents' expedition, in which they took part, in 1596. 
Printed in Muller's ' Noordsche ^uie,' pp. 362, 368, 

3 1 2 Bibliography 

1596. Joannes Pontanus, Professor at Harderwijk. Rerum et urbis Amsteloda- 
mensium Historia. Amst. sub cane vigilanti excudit Judocus Hondius. 
Amsterdam : 1611. Fol. B.M. 794, i. 6. Dutch translation. Amster- 
dam : 1614. B.M. 795, i. 7 (1). 
Vide, Tiele, ' Memoire,' p. 195. 

1596. J. K. J. de Jonge. Nova Zembla : De Voorwerpen door de neder- 
landische Zeevaarders na hunne Overwintering aldaar in 1597 achterge- 
laten en in 1871 door Kapitein Carlsen teruggevonden. The Hague : 
1872. 8vo. 

1596. . Nova Zembla: De voorwerpen door de nederlandsche Zeevaaders 

na hunne Overwintering op Nowaja-Semlja bij hun Vertrek in 1597 
achtergelaten en in 1876 door Ch* Gardiner, Esq'., aldaar teruggevonden. 
The Hague: 1877. 8vo. 

1596. Sib Mabtin Conway. How Spitsbergen was discovered. Geographical 
Journal (London), February, 1903. Eeprinted in this volume. 

1603. William Gobden. A Voyage performed to the Northwards, Anno 1603, 
in a ship of the burthen of fiftie tunnes, called the Grace, and set forth at 
the cost and charges of the Worshipfull Francis Cherie. Written by 
William Gorden ; being the first Voyage to Cherie Island ; etc. Printed 
in Purchas' • Pilgrims,' lib. iii. chap. xiii. p. 566. 

1603, 1607, 1610-22. Thomas Edge. A briefe Discouerie of the Northerne Dis- 
coueries of Seas, Coasts, and Countries, deliuered in order as they were 
hopefully begunne, and haue euer since happily beene continued by the 
singular industrie and charge of the Worshipfull Society of Muscouia 
Merchants of London, with the ten seuerall Voyages of Captaine Thomas 
Edge the Authour. 

Printed in Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. pp. 462-473. 

1604-9. Jonas Poole. Diuers Voyages to Cherie Hand, in the yeeres 1604, 1605, 
1606, 1608, 1609. Written by Ionas Poole. 

Printed in Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' lib. iii. chap. xiii. pp. 556-566. 

1607. Henby Hudson. Divers Voyages and Northerne Discoveries of that worthy 
irrecoverable Discoverer, Master Henry Hudson. His Discoverie toward 
the North Pole, set forth at the charge of certaine Worshipfull Merchants 
of London, in May 1607. Written partly by John Playse, one of the 
Company, and partly by H. Hudson. 

In Purchas' 'Pilgrims,' vol. iii. pp. 567-610. Reprinted in G. M. 
Asher's 'Henry Hudson the Navigator' (Hakluyt Society). London: 
8vo. 1860. 

1607. H. C. Muephy. Henry Hudson in Holland. The Hague : 1859. 8vo. 

1607. Sib Mabtin Conway. Hudson's Voyage to Spitsbergen in 1607. Geo- 
graphical Journal (London), 1900, pp. 121-130. Reprinted in this book. 

1610. Jonas Poole. A Voyage set forth by the Right Worshipfull Sir Thomas 
Smith, and the rest of the Muscouie Company, to Cherry Hand : and for 
a further discouerie to be made towards the North-Pole, for the likelihood 
of a Trade or a passage that way, in the Ship called the Amitie, of burthen 
seuentie tuns ; in the which I Ionas Poole was Master, hauing fourteene 
men and one boy : a.d. 1610. 

Printed in Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. p. 699. 

Bibliography 313 

1611. Jonas Poole. A briefe Declaration of this my Voyage of discouery to 

Greeneland, and towards the West of it, as followeth : being set forth by 
the right Worshipfull Sir Thomas Smith, Gouernour of the right Worship- 
full Company of new Trades, etc. Written by Ionas Poole. 

Printed in Purchas' 'Pilgrims,' vol. iii. p. 711. The Commissions of 
Poole and Edge for 1611 (Poole's misprinted 1610) are in Purchas' 
' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. pp. 707, 709. 

1611-24. Corte Deductie ende Eemonstrantie van wegen de Bewinthebbers ende 
Participanten vande respectiue oude Noortse Compagnien ouer Delft, Hoorn, 
Enckhuijsen, Vlissingen, ende Vere, ouergegeuen aende Hooge Mogende 
Heeren de Staten Generael der Vereenichde Nederlandtse Provintien. 
Printed in Muller's ' Noordsche Compagnie,' pp. 393-402. 

1612. Jonas Poole. A Eelation written by Ionas Poole of a Voyage to Green- 

land, in the yeere 1612, with two ships, the one called the Whale; the 
other the Sea-horse, set out by the Right Worshipfull the Muscouie 

Printed in Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. p. 713. 

1612. Statement of Sir Thomas Smith, Gouner of y° Muscovie Companie. Septem- 
ber 18, 1612. 

British Museum, MS. Lansd. 142, f. 391. 

1612-22. Thomas Edge. Dutch, Spanish, Danish disturbance, also by Hull men, 
and by a new Patent, with the succeeding Successe and further Discoueries 
till this present. 

Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. pp. 466-470. 

1612-13. Hessel Gekritsz. van Assum. Beschryvinghe vander Samoyeden 
Landt in Tartarien Nieulijcks onder 't ghebiedt der Moscoviten gebracht. 
Wt de Russche tale overgheset, Anno 1609. Met een verhael Vande 
opsoeckingh ende ontdeckinge vande nieuwe deurgang ofte straet int 
Noord-westen na de Rijcken van China ende Cathay. Ende Een Memoriael 
gepresenteert aenden Connigh van Spaengien belanghende de ontdeckinghe 
ende gheleghentheyt van 't Land ghenaemt Australia Incognita. Amster- 
dam : 1612. 4to. 

1612-13. . Descriptio ac delineatio Geographica Detectionis Freti Sive, 

Transitu s ad Occasum supra terras Americanas, in Chinam atq ; Iaponem 
ducturi. Recens investigati ab M. Henrico Hudsono Anglo. Item, Exegesis 
Regi Hispanise facta, super tractu recens detecto, in quinta Orbisparte, cui 
nomen Australis Incognita. Cum descriptione Terrarum Samoiedarum, 
et Tingoesiorum, in Tartaria ad Ortum Freti VVaygats sitarum, nuperq ; 
sceptro Moscovitarum adscitarum. Amsterdam : 1613. 4to. B.M. 1045, 
e. 15 (1). 

There were many editions, both in Dutch and Latin, much differing 
from one another. Two Latin editions of 1613 contain passages relating 
to Spitsbergen. Vide, Camus, 'Memoire,' p. 254; and Tiele, ' Memoire,' 
pp. 179, 188. ' Detectio Freti ' of 1613 contains, 8thly, " De detectione 
terra? polaris sub latitudine octoginta graduum." A later edition of the 
same year contains the same tract, and also a treatise by Peter Plancius, 
intitled " Refutatio rationum quibus Angli Dominationem piscationis ad 
insulam Spitzbergensem . . . pretendere . . . conantur." It contains 
likewise important maps of Spitsbergen and Novaja Zemlja. 

3 1 4 Bibliography 

A modern reproduction is the following: Detectio Freti Hudsoni. 
H. Gerritz's collection of tracts by himself, Massa, and De Quir on the 
N.E. and W. Passage, Siberia and Australia. Reproduced with the maps, 
in photolith., in Dutch and Latin after the edition of 1612-13. With 
English translation by P. J. Millard and essay on the origin and design 
of this collection by S. Muller. Utrecht : 1878. 4to. B.M. 10,460, bb. 7. 

1613. Hessel Gerritsz. van Assum. Histoire du pays nomme Spitsberghe mon- 
strant comment qu'il est trouvee, son naturel et ses animauls, avecques. 
La triste racompte des maux, que nos Pecheurs, taut Basques que Flamens, 
ont eu a souffrir des Anglois, en Teste passe. l'An de grace 1613. 
Escrit par H. G. A. Amsterdam : 1613. 4to. B.R.H. Pamflet, 2053. 
B.M. 572, d. 2. 

Reprinted in part xi. of De Bry's ' India Orientalis.' Vide Camus, 
• Memoire,' p. 254, Tiele, ' Memoire,' p. 195. A facsimile edition was pub- 
lished by Muller (Amsterdam : 1872. 4to). Extracts of the original are 
published in Muller's " Noordsche Compagnie,' pp. 364, 369. An Eng- 
lish translation is included in Sir Martin Conway's ' Spitsbergen.' London 
(Hakluyt Society), 1902. 8vo. 

1613. A Breife Narration of the discouerie of the Northerne Seas, and the Coasts 
and Contries of those parts as it was first begunn and continewed by the 
singuler Industrie and charge of the Company of Muscouie Merchants of 
London. An answer to the complaint of the Lowe Countries touching 
the niwe fishing of the whales vppon the coast of Grceneland by the 
English Merchants of the Muscovy company. 13 Jan. 1613. 

British Museum, MS. 14,027, f. 171. A modern copy of this docu- 
ment is in the British Museum, MS. 33,837, f. 70. 

1613. William Baffin. A Journall of the Voyage made to Greenland with sixe 
English ships and a Pinnasse, in the yeere 1613. Written by Master 
William Baffin. 

Printed in Purchas' 'Pilgrims,' vol. iii. pp. 716-720. Reprinted in 
C. R. Markham's 'The Voyages of Wm. Baffin' (Hakluyt Society). Lon- 
don: 1881. 8vo. 

1613. Robert Fotherbye (?). A Short Discourse "of a Voyage made in the Yeare 
of Our Lord 1613 to the Late Discovered Countrye of Greenland ; and a 
Breife Discription of the same Countrie, and the Cothodities ther raised 
to the Aduenturers. 

MS. in the library of the American Antiquarian Society, at Worcester, 
Mass. Published, with Introduction and Notes by Samuel F. Haven, in 
the American Antiquarian Society's Transactions, vol. iv. (1860), p. 285 ; 
also privately printed, Boston: 1860. 8vo. Reprinted in C. R. Mark- 
ham's ' The Voyages of Wm. Baffin ' (Hakluyt Society), p. 54. London : 
1881. 8vo. 

1613. Statement by the States General in their meeting of 16th April, 1615, of 

their claim to the right to fish on the coasts of Spitsbergen. 
Printed in S. Muller, ' Mare Clausum,' Bijlage E. p. 363. 

1614. Instructions from the States-General to the " Commandeur " of the Dutch 

whaling-fleet for the voyage of 1614. Printed in Muller's ' Noordsche 
Compagnie,' p. 370. 

Bibliography 3 1 5 

1614. Sir Martin Conway. Joris Carolus, discoverer of Edge Island. Geo- 
graphical Journal (London), vol. xvii. (1901) pp. 623-632 ; and vol. xviii. 
(1901) p. 544. Reprinted in the present volume. 

1614. Robert Fotherbye. A Voyage of Discouerie to Greenland, etc., Anno 

1614. Written by Ro. Fotherbye. Printed in Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. 
pp. 720-728. 

Reprinted in C. R. Markham's 'The Voyages of Wm. Baffin' (Hakluyt 
Society), pp. 80-102. London : 1881. 8vo. 

1615. . A true report of a Voyage Anno 1615, for Discouerie of Seas, 

Lands, and Hands, to the Northwards ; as it was performed by Robert 
Fotherbie, in a Pinnasse of twentie tunnes called the Richard of London : 
set forth at the charge of the Right Worshipfull Sir Thomas Smith, 
Knight, my very good Master, and Master Richard Wiche, Gouernours : 
and the rest of the Worshipfull Company of Merchants, called the Merchants 
of New Trades and Discoueries, trading into Moscouia, and King James 
his New Land. 

Printed in Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. pp. 728-731 ; and followed 
(p. 731) by a letter from Fotherby to Edge, dated July 15, 1615, written 
in Crosse Road. 

1615-27. Extracts from the Resolutions of the States General relating to Dutch 
whalers in the Spitsbergen waters in the years 1615-1627. Printed in 
Muller's ' Noordsche Compagnie,' pp. 380-386. 

1616. Instructions from the States General for the Dutch Whaling Fleet in 1616. 

Muller, 'Noordsche Compagnie,' pp. 372-377. 

1617. Humble Petition, etc., of the English Merchants for discovery of newe trades. 

22 Jan. 1617. British Museum, MS. Lands. 142, f. 389. 
1617. William Heley. A letter dated 12th of August, 1617. Printed in 
Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. p. 732. 

1617. Affidavits by Dutch sailors, who were present in Spitsbergen in 1617, relative 

to the trouble with the English that year. Printed in Muller's ' Noordsche 
Compagnie,' pp. 402-406. 

1618. Letters from Robert Salmon, Th. Sherwin, and James Beversham, com- 

municated by W. Heley and printed in Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. p. 733. 
1618. Papers connected with the Dutch Embassy of 1618-19 to James I. respect- 
ing the troubles in Spitsbergen in the summer of 1618. Printed in 
S. Muller's 'Mare Clausum,' Bijlagen G. and H., pp. 369-376. 

1618. Affidavits connected with the troubles at Spitsbergen, reprinted from English 

State Papers in Sir Martin Conway's ' Spitsbergen.' London (Hakluyt 
Society), 1902. 8vo. 

1619. Letters from John Chambers and Robert Salmon to W. Heley. Printed in 

Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. p. 734. 

1619-60. Sir Martin Conway. The Rise and Fall of Smeerenburg, Spitsbergen. 
Privately printed ; 8.1. et d. Reprinted in this volume. 

1620. Letters from John Catcher and Robert Salmon to W. Heley. Printed in 

Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. pp. 734, 735. 

1621. A Letter from Robert Salmon to W. Heley. Printed in Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' 

vol. iii. p. 735. 

3 1 6 Bibliography 

1623. Letters from Nathaniel Fanne, Master Catcher, and William Goodlard to 
W. Heley. Printed in Purcbas' ' Pilgrims,' vol. iii. p. 736. 

1630-31. Edward Pellham. God's Power and Providence : shewed in the Miracu- 
lous Preservation and Deliverance of eight Englishmen, left by mischance 
in Green-land, Anno 1630, nine moneths and twelve dayes. . . . With a 
Description of the chiefe Places and Parities of that barren and cold 
Countrey, ... as also with a map of Green-land. London : 1631. 4to. 
B.M. 982, a. 24. 

Eeprinted in Churchill's Collection, vol. iv. p. 808 ; and in A. White's 
' Spitzbergen ' (Hakluyt Society). London : 1855. French translation in 
Perthes' Collection. 

1632-3. Jean Ybolicq. Documents connected with Jean Vrolicq's voyages to 
Spitsbergen and his disputes with the Dutch whalers. Printed in 
Muller's ' Noordsche Compagnie,' pp. 406-423. 

1632-34. Db. E. T. Hamy. Les Francais au Spitzberg au XVII. siecle. Bulletin 
de geographie historique et descriptive. Paris : 1895. 8vo. 

1633-4. Jacob Segebsz. van deb Bbugge. Journael, Of Dagh-Register, gehouden 
by Seven Matroosen, In haer Overwinteren op Spitsbergen in Maurits-Bay, 
Gelegen in Groenlandt, t'zedert het vertreck van de Visschery-Schepen de 
Geoctroyeerde Noordtsche Compagnie, in Nederlandt, zijnde den 30. 
Augusty, 1633, tot de wederkomst der voorsz. Schepen, den 27. May, Anno 
1634. Beschreven door den Bevelhebber Jacob Segersz. van der Brugge. 
Amsterdam (Saeghman), s.d. (1634). 4to. With woodcut illustrations. 
B.M. 10,460, bbb. 10. 

Vide Tiele, ' Memoire,' p. 277. An abstract will be found in Zorgdrager 
(p. 257, German edition). An edition not known to Tiele has the follow- 
ing erroneous title : ' Twee Journalen, yeder gehouden by Seven,' etc. 
B.M. 10,460, bbb. 13. Three editions known to Tiele are all in the British 
Museum. This tract is included in Saeghman's Collection. Vide Tiele, 
'Ned. Bibl.' p. 128. B.M. 10,057, dd. 50. 

An English translation is included in Sir Martin Conway's ' Spits- 
bergen.' London (Hakluyt Society), 1902. 8vo. 

1634. Documents concerning English troubles in Spitsbergen in 1634 are reprinted 
from English State Papers in Sir Martin Conway's ' Spitsbergen.' London 
(Hakluyt Society), 1902. 8vo. 

1634-5. [Andbew Johnson ?]. Twee Journalen, Het Eerste gehouden by de Seven 
Matroosen, op het Eylandt Mauritius, in Groenlandt, In den Jare 1633, 
en 1634, in haer Overwinteren, doch sijn al t'samen gestorven : En het 
tweede gehouden by de Seven Matroosen, die op Spitsbergen Zijn Over- 
wintert, en aldaer ghestorven, in den Jare 1634. Amsterdam (Saeghman), 
s.d. (1635). 4to. 

Frequently reprinted. English translation published in Churchill's 
Collection, vol. ii. p. 427 ; and in Pinkerton's Collection, vol. i. p. 535, 
and reprinted in Sir Martin Conway's ' Spitsbergen.' London (Hakluyt 
Society), 1902. 8vo. Vide Tiele, « Memoire,' p. 276. 
1639. Dibck Albeetsz. Raven. Iovrnael ofteBeschrijvinghe vande reyse ghedaen 
by den Commandeur Dirck Albertsz. Raven, nae Spitsbergen, in den Jare 
1639 ten dienste vande E. Herren Bewindt-hebbers van de Groenlandt sche 

BibliograpJiy 3 1 7 

Cornpagnie tot Hoorn . . . door hem selver beschreven. Hoorn (J. Jz 
Deutel): 1646. 4to. 

Vide Tiele, 'Memoire,' p. 213 ; Ned. Bibl., p. 40. 

Before 1646. Isaac de la Peyrere. Relation dv Greenland. Paris (Chez 
Avgvstin Covrbe) : 1647. 12mo. 

Frequently reprinted and incorporated in other books. Vide C. C. A. 
Gosch, 'Danish Arctic Expeditions' (Hakluyt Society), vol. ii. p. lix. 
London : 1897. 8vo. The English translation was printed in White's 
' Spitz bergen and Greenland ' (Hakluyt Society) : London, 1855 : 8vo, and 
in Churchill's Collection. 

1652. Richard Nicolson. " Wie aus der Beschreibung Richard Nicolson, eines 
Englanders erhellet, welcher im Jahre 1652 seine Beschreibung von Spitz- 
bergen und Nova Zembla an das Licht gab." Zorgdrager (German edition), 
p. 187. Original Dutch edition, p. 158. 

I can find no trace or other mention of this book. 

1655. Hendricu Doncker's Atlas (Amsterdam, 1655), p. 79, gives local sailing 

directions about Spitsbergen, and incidentally names many harbours and 

anchorages. These directions are practically reprinted in Van Loon and 

Vooght's Atlas published by J. Van Keulen (Amsterdam : 1687), pp. 78-81. 
c. 1660. Captain Lancelott Anderson. An Account of Greenland. 

A manuscript in the British Museum, Sloane 3986, ff. 78, 79. Printed 

in the Geographical Journal, June, 1900, p. 629. 
c. 1660. Gray. The manner of the Whale-fishing in Groenland. Given by 

Mr. Gray to Mr. Oldenburg for the Society. 

MS. in the Register Book of the Royal Society, November 4, 1663. 

Printed and illustrations reproduced in the Geographical Journal for June, 

1900, p. 632. 
c. 1660. . Enquiries propounded to and answered by Mr. Gray ; that hath 

been severall times in Groenland. 

MS. in the Register Book of the Royal Society, February 25, 1662, 

vol. ii. (1862, 1863), p. 156. Partly printed in the Geographical Journal 

for June, 1900, p. 631. 
1671. Friedrich Martens. Spitzbergische oder Groenlandische Reise Beschrei- 
bung, gethan im Jahr 1671, etc. Hamburg : 1675. 4to. B.M. 462, c. 25. 
English translations, London, 1694, 1695, and in A. White's ' Spitz- 

bergen' (Hakluyt Society). London: 1855. 8vo. Italian translation, 

Venice, 1680. Dutch translations, Amsterdam, 1685, 1710, 1770, etc. 
Martens' account formed the basis of most descriptions of Spitsbergen 

for 150 years, and was reprinted in several collections of voyages. 
1671. Herman Moll. Atlas Geographicus or a compleat system of Geography. 

5 vols. London : 1711-17. 4to. 

Vol. i. p. 125 et sqq. contains a description of Spitsbergen, chiefly 

borrowed from Martens. 
1676. Chart of the ice-pack between Spitsbergen and Novaya Zemlya, reproduced 

in Royal Geographical Society's Proceedings, ix.p. 175 (London: 1864-65). 

The authority is not stated, but appears to be some old Dutch record. 
1682. P. P. v. S. Kort en opregt verhaal van het Droevig en avontuurlijk weder- 

varen van Abraham Jansz. van Oelen, etc. No place (Leiden ?) : 1683 . 


318 Bibliography 

The author's initials are at p. 51, and the date is given on the illus- 
trated frontispiece, " Gedrukt voor den Auteur, 1683." A copy belongs to 
Mr. G. J. Honig of Zaandijk. 

The enlarged 2nd edition is entitled ' De seldsaame en noit gehoorde 
Wal-vis-vangst, Voorgevallen by St. Anna-Land in 't jaar 1682. den 7. 
October. Midsgaders Een Pertinente Beschrijvinge van de geheele 
Groen-Landse-Vaart. Verhandeld in Prose, en Versen. Nevens Verscheide 
Saaken tot die Materie dienende ; Gelijk op d' and're sijde van dit Blad 
Kan gesien vvorden. Door P : P : v : S. Med schoone Kop're Prentver- 
beeldingen vercierd. Dese 2de. Druk, merkelijk verbetert, en, bij na de helft, 
vermeerdert. Tot Leiden, in 't yaer 1684.' Leiden : 1684. 4to. 
1693. De. E. T. Hamy. Une Croisiere franchise a la C6te Nord du Spitzberg en 
t 1693. "With reproduction of contemporary map. 

Bull, de Oeogr. Eist. et Descriptive, 1901, No. 1, p. 32. The account 
is pieced together from contemporary documents. 
1707. Clements R. Markham. On Discoveries east of Spitzbergen, with refe- 
rence to the voyage of Giles. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical 
Society, February, 1870, vol. xvii. p. 97. 
1721-2. Johann Michael Kuhn. Lebens und Reise-Beschreibung . . . Dessen 
Schiffahrten nach . . . Spitzbergen, etc. Gotha : 1741. 8vo. B.M. 791, 
a. 30. 
1743-49. Pierre Louis le Roy. Erzahlung der Begebenheiten vier Russischer 
Matrosen, die durch einen Sturm zur Insel Ost Spitzbergen verschlagen 
worden. Riga und Mietau : 1760. 8vo. B.M., B. 681 (4). 2nd edition, 
1768. 8vo. 

A French translation is included in the Perthes Collection ; also inde- 
pendently published, Amsterdam and Paris, 1767 : 8vo. Dutch translation, 
Amsterdam, 1768 : 8vo. 

English Translation. A Narrative of the singular adventures of Four 
Russian Sailors, who were cast away on the desert Island of East Spitz- 
bergen. Together with Some Observations on the Productions of that 
Island, etc. Translated from the German Original, at the desire of several 
Members of the Royal Society. This is printed in the following volume : 
J. von Staehlin Storcksburg, 'An Account of the new Northern Archi- 
pelago lately discovered by the Russians in the seas of Kamtschatka and 
Anadir.' Translated from the German Original. London : 1774. 4to. 
B.M. 10,460, 66, 18. It was reprinted in Pinkerton's Collection, and in 
the English translation of Perthes. Large extracts of it were included in 
' Sandford and Merton.' 

1758. Anton Rolandsson Martin. Dagbok h&llen vid en resa till Nordpolen eller 
Spitsbergen, pa Kongl. Vetenskaps-Akademiens omkostnad och med ett 
Gronlandska Compagniet i Groteborg tillhbrande skepp ar 1758 fornittad 
af Anton Rolandsson Martin. Ymer, i. p. 102. Stockholm : 1881. 8vo. 
Part of this journal is translated in Passarge's • Nordenskiold,' p. 339. 

1765-6. Gerhakd Friedrich Muller. Herrn von Tschitschagow, Russisch- 
Kayserlichen Admirals, Reise nach dem Eissmeer. Nachrichten von dem 
neuesten Schifffahrten im Eissmeer und in der Kamtschatkischen See seit 
dem Jahr 1742, da die zweyte Kamtschatkische Expedition aufgehort hat. 
St. Petersburg : 1793. 8vo. 

Bibliography 319 

1773. Captain the Hon. C. J. Phipps (afterwards Lord Mulgrave). A Voyage 
towards the North Pole, undertaken by His Majesty's Command. London : 
1774. 4to. 

Eeprinted in the Pinkerton, Laharpe, and Barrow Collections more or 
less fully. The MS. Journal is in the British Museum (Kings 224). 
The MS. Log is also in the British Museum (No. 8963). 

1773. Captain A. H. Makkham. Northward Ho! Including a Narrative of 
Captain Phipp's Expedition, by a Midshipman (T. Floyd). London : 1870. 

1780. S. Bacstrom. Account of a voyage to Spitzbergen in the year 1780. 
Printed in Pinkerton's Collection, vol. i. 

1801. Friedrich Gottlob Kohler. Reise ins Eismeer und nach den Kiisten von 
Grbnland und Spitzbergen im Jahre 1801 nebst einer genauen Beschrei- 
bung des Walfischfanges von Friedrich Gottlob Kohler, Seilermeister in 
Pima. Leipzig : 1820. 8vo. B.M. 10,280, a. 13. 

This is a description of a normal voyage of the period, made by a 
Hamburg whaler. It contains nothing of interest about Spitsbergen. 

1806. John Laing. A Voyage to Spitzbergen. London : 1815. 8vo. B.M. 
980, f. 2. Other editions. Edinburgh : 1818 and 1820. 12mo. 
Laing was surgeon in Scoresby's ship in 1806. 

1818. Lieut. F. W. Beechey. Description of a view of the North Coast of 
Spitzbergen now exhibiting in the large Rotunda of H. A. Barker's Pano- 
rama, painted from drawings taken by Lieut. Beechey. London : 1819. 
8vo. B.M. 10,025, d. 9. 

1818. Captain F. W. Beechey. A Voyage of Discovery towards the North Pole, 
performed in His Majesty's ships "Dorothea" and "Trent," under the 
command of Captain David Buchan, r.n., 1818. London : 1843. 8vo. 

Containing, as Appendix, a letter from Captain Sabine to Davies 
Gilbert, m.p., dated February 8, 1826. See also Barrow's Voyages. 

1818. Thomas A. Latta, M.D. Observations on Ice-bergs, made during a short 
Excursion in Spitzbergen. Edinburgh Philosophical Journal (Edinburgh, 
1820), pp. 237-243. 

Dr. Latta was surgeon on Scoresby's ship in the year 1818. He gives 
an account of a visit to, and traverse across, one of the " Seven Icebergs." 

1821. M. W. Mandt. Observationes ... in itinere Groenlandico facta? s.l. 1822. 

Svo. B.M. 7385, a. (1). 

1821-2. [R. P. Gillies], Tales of a voyager to the Arctic Ocean. First and 
Second Series. London : 1826 and 1829. 12mo. B.M. N. 382 and N. 660 (1). 

1822. W. Scoresby. Journal of a Voyage to the Northern Whale Fishery, including 

researches and discoveries on the Eastern Coast of Greenland in 1822. 
Edinburgh: 1823. 8vo. 

1823. D. C. Clavering. Journal of a Voyage to Spitzbergen and the East Coast 

of Greenland in H.M.S. "Griper." Edited by J. Smith. London: 1830. 
1823. Sir Edward Sabine. An Account of experiments to determine the figure 
of the earth by means of the pendulum vibrating seconds in different 
latitudes. London : 1825. 4to. 

The Visit to Spitsbergen is described, pp. 148, 149. 

320 Bibliography 

1825. Sir Edward Sabine. On the measurement of an Arc of the Meridian at 
Spitzbergen. The Quarterly Journal of Science and Arts (Royal Insti- 
tution), vol. xxi. (London: 1826), pp. 101-108. 8vo. 

1827. Admiral Sir William Edward Parry. Narrative of an Attempt to reach 
the North Pole, in Boats fitted for the purpose, and attached to H.M. Ship 
"Hecla" in 1827. London : 1828. 4to. 

See also Barrow's Voyages and numerous later compilations on arctic 
travel and exploration for accounts of the same voyage. 

1827. Prof. B. M. Keilhau. Reise i Ost og West Finmarken samt til Beeren- 

Eiland og Spitsbergen i Aarene 1827 og 1828. With Maps and Plates. 

Christiania : 1831. 8vo. B.M. 1427 b. 
1827. Dezos de la Roqttette. Notice biographique sur la Tie et les Travaux de 

Prof. Keilhau. Paris : 1838. 8vo. 
1827. Barto von Lowenigh. Reise nach Spitzbergen. Aachen and Leipzig : 1830 


The substance of this book was reprinted in Petermanns Mittheil- 

ungen, Erg. Heft, No. 16. Gotha : 1865. There are references to Keilhau 

and Lowenigh in R. Everest, ' A Journey through Norway,' pp. 96, 99, 

and 134. London: 1829. 8vo. 

1838-9. Xavier Marmier. Voyages de la Commission Scientifique du Nord 
en Scandinavie, en Laponie, au Spitzberg, et aux Feroe, pendant les annees 
1838, 1839 et 1840, sur la Corvette La Recherche, commandee par 
M. Fabvre, Lieutenant de Vaisseau; Publies par ordre du Roi sous la 
direction de M. Paul Gaimard, President de la Commission scientifique 
du Nord. Relation du Voyage. 2 vols. Paris : s.d. 8vo. 

1838-9. Xavier Marmier. Letters sur le Nord. Paris : 1840. 8vo. 

1838-9. C. Martins. Du Spitsberg au Sahara. Paris : 1865. 8vo. 
And in Le Tour du Monde, Nos. 287, 288. Paris : 1865. 

1839. Leonie D'Aunet. Voyage d'une femme au Spitzberg. 2nd edition. Paris : 
1855. 8vo. 

See notices in Bentley's Miscellany, 1858, p. 33, and the Eclectic 
Magazine, 1858, p. 187. 
1841? A. Zoncada. Lettere sulla Dannimarca e lo Spitzberg. Milan : 1841. 
I have not been able to find a copy of this work. 

1851-2. Russische Wallrossfanger und Pelzjager auf Spitzbergen in den Jahren 
1851 und 1852. 

Erman's Archiv fur wissenschaftliche Kunde von Russland. Berlin, 
1854, pp. 260-265. 

1855. E. Evans and W. Sturge. Notes on the birds of W. Spitzbergen, as 

observed in 1855. Ibis (London), 1859, pp. 166-174. 

1856. The Earl of Dufferin. Letters from High Latitudes, being some account 

of a voyage, in 1856, in the schooner yacht " Foam," to Iceland, Jan 
Meyen, and Spitzbergen. London : 1857. 8vo. 10th edition. London : 
1895. 8vo. 
1858-9. James Lamont. Seasons with the Sea-horses ; or Sporting Adventures in 
the Northern Seas. London : 1861. 8vo. B.M. 10,460, d. 7. 

A long illustrated article on Lamont's work is " Sporting in Spitz- 
bergen," by A. H. Guernsey, in Harper's Magazine, vol. 23, p. 606. 

Bibliography ■ 321 

1858-9, 1869-71. James Lamont. Yachting in the Arctic Seas; or Notes of Five 

Voyages of Sport and Discovery in the neighbourhood of Spitzbergcn and 

Novaya Zemlya. London : 1876. 8vo. 
1858-70. A. Leslie. The Arctic Voyages of A. E. Nordenskiold (1858-1879). 

London: 1879. 8vo. 
1861. Karl Chydenius. Om den Svenska expeditionen till Spetsbergen ar 1861. 

K. Vetens. Akad. (Stockholm), 1862, pp. 89-111. 

Translation in Petermanns Oeog. Mitt. (Gotha), 1863, pp. 24-27, 47, 

212, 401. Vide Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. xiii. 

pp. 658-662. 
1861. Kabl Chydenius. Svenska Expeditionen till Spetsbergen ar 1861 under 

ledning af Otto Torell. Ur deltagarnes anteckningar och andra handlingar 

skildrad af K. Chydenius. Stockholm : 1865. 8vo. 
German translation in Passarge's volume. 

1861. A. E. Nordenskiold. Geografisk och Geognostisk Beskrifning ofver 
nordostra delarne af Spetsbergen och Hinlopen Strait. K. Svenska Vetens. 
Akad. Handlingar, iv. No. 7. Stockholm : 1862. 4 to. 

Translated in Petermanns Geog. Mitt., 1864, pp. 127-135 and 208-215. 

1861. C. W. Blomstranj). Geognostiska Iakttagelser under en ltesa till Spets- 
bergen ar 1861. K. Svenska Vetens. Akad. Handlingar, iv. No. 6. Stock- 
holm: 1864. 4to. 

Translation in Petermanns Geog. Mitt., 1865, pp. 191-195. 

1861. A. E. Nordenskiold and D. G. Lindhagen. Geografiska Ortsbestamningar 
pa Spetsbergen. K. Svenska Vetens. Akad. Handlingar, iv. No. 5. Stock- 
holm : 1863. 4to. 

The results are also printed in Petermanns Geog. Mitt., 1864, pp. 14, 15. 

1861. Dr. Otto Torell. Explorations in Spitsbergen, undertaken by the Swedish 
Expedition in 1861, with the view of ascertaining tbe practicability of 
the measurement of an Arc of the Meridian. Proceedings of the Royal 
Society, xii. pp. 658-662. London : 1862-63. 8vo. 

1861-4-8. 0. Torell and A. E. Nordenskiold. Die schwedischen Expeditionen 
nach Spitsbergen und Biiren-Eiland ausgefuhrt in den Jahren 1861, 1864, 
und 1868 unter Leitung von 0. Torell und A. E. Nordenskiold. Aus dem 
Schwedischen iibersetzt von L. Passarge. Jena: 1869. 8vo. 

1863-4. Svenska expeditionen till Spetsbergen och Jan Mayen, utforda under aren 
1863 och 1864, af N. Duner, A. J. Malmgren, A. E. Nordenskjbld, och A. 
Quennerstadt. Stockholm : 1867. 8vo. 

German translation included in Passarge's volume. 

1863. Dr. Otto Torell. Extract of a Letter to General Sabine, dated from Copen- 
hagen, Dec. 12, 1863. Proceedings of the Royal Society, xiii. pp. 83, 84. 
London : 1863-4. 8vo. 

1861. Captain C. Skogman of the Swedish Navy. Completion of the preliminary 
survey of Spitzbergen, undertaken by the Swedish Government with the 
view of ascertaining the practicability of the measurement of an arc of 
the meridian. In a letter addressed to General Sabine . . . dated Stock- 
holm, Nov. 21, 1864. Proceedings of the Royal Society, xiii. pp. 551-553. 
Loudon: 1863-64. 8vo. 

C. 2 1 

322 Bibliography 

1804. Alfred Newton. Notes on the Birds of Spitsbergen. 
Ibis (London : 1865), pp. 199-219, 496-525. 

1864. Boat Voyage along the Coast of Spitsbergen, in 1864. Translated from the 
'Tromso Tidende.' Proceedings of the Boyal Geographical Society, vol. 
ix. pp. 308-312. London : 1864-65. 

1867. W. C. Brogger and N. Bolfsen. Fridtiof NanseD, 1861-93. English trans- 

lation. London : 1896. 8vo. 

1868. A. E. Nordenskiold. 1868 ars Svenska Polarexpeditionen under ledning 

af A. E. Nordenskjold och Fr. v. Otter. Framtiden (Stockholm, 1869), 
pp. 642-657. 

Translations in Passarge's volume, and in Petermanns Oeog. Mitt., 1868, 
pp. 298-304. Vide Boyal Geographical Society Proceedings, xiii. pp. 151- 
165 ; and E.G.S. Journal, xxxix. pp. 357-378. 

1868. Th. M. Fries and C. Nystrom. Polarexpeditionen ar 1868. Reseskizzer. 
Stockholm: 1869. 8vo. 

1868. A. E. Nordenskiold. Astronomiska ortbestainningar under Svenska 
Polarexpeditionen, 1868. Ofversight af K. Svenska Vetens. Ahad. 
Forhandlingar (Stockholm : 1870), pp. 569-580. 

1868. K. Koldewey. Die Erste Deutsche Nordpolar-Expedition im Jahre 1868. 
Petermanns Geog. Mitt., Erganzungsheft, No. 28. Gotha : 1871. 

1870. M. Th. von Heuglin. Reisen nach dem Nordpolarmeer in den Jahre 
1870 und 1871. 3 vols. 

Vol. i. Reise in Norwegen und Spitzbergen im Jahre 1870. Bruns- 
wick : 1872-74. 8vo. See also Petermanns Mitt., 1870, pp. 422,423, and 


1870. A. E. Nordenskiold. Redogorelse for den Sv. Polarex. ar 1872-73. Bihang 
K.S. Yet. Ahad. llandl, 1875, Bd. 2, No. 10, p. 9, footnote. 
Contains a brief account of Dr. Nathorst's expedition to Ice sound in 1870. 

1872. Captain J. C. Wells. The Gateway to the Polynia. A voyage to Spitz- 
bergen. London : 1873. Svo. B.M. 2370, e. 17. 

This book contains a description of Mr. Leigh Smith's voyage in the 
Samson in 1872. 

1872. Admiral Max Freiherr Daubleosky von Sterneck und Ehrenstein. 
Graf Wiltschek's Nordpolariahrt im Jahre 1872. Herausgegeben durch 
das Hydrographische Amt der k.k. Oesterreichischen Kriegsmarine als 
Beilagezu einem Heft der " Mittheilungen ausdem Gebiete des Seewesens" 
fur 1874. Pola (Verlag des Hydrographischen Auites) : 1874. 

1872. Trof. Hanns Hofer. Graf Wilczek's Nordpolarfahrt im Jahre 1872. 
Petermanns Geog. Mitt., 1874, pp. 219-228. 

1S72. Prof. H. Mohn. Konig Karl-Land im Osten von Spitzbergen und seine 
Erreichung und AufDahme durch Norwcgische Schiffer im Sommer 1872. 
Petermanns Geog. Mitt., 1873, pp. 121-130. 

1872. Prof. H. Mohn. "Alberts " Expedition til Spetsbergen i Nov. og Dec. 1872. 
Christiania : 1873. Svo. 

Bibliography 323 

IS7L'-.'!. A. E. Nokdenskiold. Redogtirelse for den Svenska Polarexpeditionen fir 
1872-1873. K. S. Vetens. Akad. TIandl. Bihang, No. 18. Stockholm : 

Translation in Peter matins Geog. Mitt. (Gotka : 1873), pp. 444-453. 

1872-3. P. R. Kjellman. Svenska Polarexpeditionen ar 1872-3. Stockholm : 
1875. 8vo. 

L872-3. Aug. Wijkander. Astronomiska Observationer under den Svenska 
Arktiska Expeditionen 1872-73. K. Svenska Vetens. Akad. Handlingar, 
vol. xiii. No. 9. Stockholm : 1876. 4 to. 

1872-3. E. Parent. Esplorazioni di Eugenio Parent alia Spitzbergen eseguite 
colla 5" Spedizione Artica Svedese (1872-73). Cosmos. (Torino : 1877.) 
Pp. 101-423. 

1872-3. Oswald Heer. Die schwedischen Expeditionen zu Erforschung des hohen 
Nordens vora Jahr 1870 und 1872 auf 1873. Zurich : 1871. 8vo. B.M. 
10,631, ee. 16. 

1873. English and Swedish Polar Expeditions. An account of Leigh Smith's 
voyage in 1873. The Times (London), September 29, 1873, p. 12, coi. 2. 

1873. Rev. A. E. Eaton. Notes on the Fauna of Spitsbergen. The Zoologist 
(London), November, 1873, pp. 3762-3771, and January, 1874, pp. 3805- 

1873. R. von Drasche-Wartinberg. Reise nach Spitzbergen im Sommer 1873. 

(Privately printed.) Wien : 1874. 

1874. The Marquis of Ormonde. A Short Cruise to Norway and Spitzbergen. 

Good Words (London), November, 1895, p. 737. 

1878. Den Norske Nordhavs-Expedition, 1876-8. (In Norwegian and English.) 
Christiania: 1882. 4to. 

Vol. i. Parts 4 and 5 relate to Spitsbergen. As to the same voyage, 
vide Petermanns Geog. Mitt., 1878, pp. 80, 400, 478 ; and Erg. Heft, No. 

1878. Charles Boissevain. Story of the life and aspirations of L. R. Koolemans 
Beynen. . . . Translated ... by M. M. (Mrs. Clements Markham). Lon- 
don : 1885. 8vo. B.M. 10,759, b. 9. 

1881. A. H. Cocks. Notes of a naturalist on the W. Coast of Spitzbergen. The 
Zoologist (London), 1882, pp. 321, 378, 401. 

1881. Clive Phillips Wolley. Trottings of a Tenderfoot : or a Sporting Visit to 
the Columbian Fiords and Spitzbergen. London : 1884. 8vo. B.M. 10,470, 
bb. 3. 

1881. Abel Chapman. A Voyage to Spitzbergen and the Arctic Seas. Natural 

History Transactions of Northumberland, etc., vol. viii. pp. 138-158. 
Newcastlc-on-Tyne : 1884-89. 8vo. 

1882. A. G. Nathorst. Redogtirelse for den tillsammans nied G. de Gecr ar 1882 

foretagna geologiska Expeditionen till Spetsbergen. 

K. S. Vetens. Akad. Handl. Bihang, vol. ix. No. 2. Stockholm : 1884. 

1882. A. H. Cocks. An Autumn Visit to Spitzbergen. The Zoologist (London), 
1883, pp. 393, 433, 479. 

21 — 2 

324 Bibliography 

1882-3. Explorations internationales des Regions polaires 1882-83. Observations 
i'aites au Cap Thordsen, Spitzberg, par l'Expeditiou suedoisc. Pablifos 
par 1' Academic Royale des Sciences de Suede. 2 vols. Stockholm: 1887 
and 1892. 4to. 

1886-9. M. Lindeman. Kiikeuthals Spitzbergen fabrten. Das Ausland, vol. lxiii. 
pp. 373-377. Stuttgart : 1890. 

1888-9. Arnold Pike. A Winter in the Eightieth Degree (Spitsbergen). Pp. 

343-351 of Abel Chapman's ' Wild Norway.' London: 1897. 8vo. 
L889. Prof. Dr. Kukenthal. Bericbt iiber die von der Geographischen Gescll- 

scbaft in Bremen in Jabre 1889 Veranslaltete Reise nach Ostspitzbergen 

(Dr. Kiikeuthal und Dr. Walter). Petermanns Gcog. Milt,, 1890, pp. 

(il-75. Also in Deutscher QeographiscJie Blatter (Bremen), 1892, pp. 153, 

266; 1893, p. 2G0 ; 1895, p. 127. Ymer, ix. p. 47. 

1890. G. Norpenskiold. Redogorelse for den Svenska Expeditionen till Spets- 

bergen, 1890. Bihang till K. Svenska Vetenskajps Altad. Hand., xvii. 
ii. 3. Stockholm : 1892. 8vo. 

1891. Leo Cremer. Ein A usfiug nach Spitzbergen. Berlin: 1892. 8vo. 

1891. Max Graf von Zepelin. Reisebilder aus Spitzbergen. Stuttgart: 1892. 

1891-2. R. von Barry. Zwei Fabrten in das Nordliche Eismeer nach Spitz- 
bergen und Nowaja Semlja unternommen von S. K. H. Prinz Heinrich von 
Bomb m . . . in den Jahren 1891 und 1892. Tola und Wien : 1894 
8vo. B.M. 10,470, h. 34. 

1 892. Captain Bienaime and others. Voyage de " La Maucbe." Nouvelles archives 

des Missions scientifiques et litteraires. Choix de rapports et instructions 
public sous les auspices du Ministeie de l'instruction publiipie, des beaux- 
arts, et des cultes. Tome v. Paris: 1893. 8vo. 

L892. Charles Rabot. Jan Mayen et le Spitzberg. Part iv. In Le Tour du 
Monde, Livr. 1713 (Nov. 4, 1893). Paris : 1893. 8vo. 

Explorations dans l'ocean Glacial Arctique. Bulletin de la Soc. dt 
Geographic, 7me. serie, tome iv, Paris: 1894. 8vo. 

Both these accounts describe the visit of " La Manche " to Spitzbergen 
in 1892. 

L892. Axel Hamberg. En resa till norra Ishafvet sommareu 1892 foretagen med 
understod af Vegastipendiet. Ymcr, 1894, pp. 25-61. 

189;!. W. Lategahn. Eiue Nordlandl'ahrt in August, 1893. (II. Baedeker) 1894. 

1893. F. Plass. Yergniigungsfahrt nach Spitzbergen. Hamburg : 1894. 

1894. 11. II. Alme. Welmans Polarekspedition. Dei Norske Geografiske Selskabs 

Aarlog, vol. vi. (1894-95). Kristiania: 1895. Svo. Pp. 8-36. 

L891. Trygve Heverdahl. k Kanes " reise langs Spitzbergens Vestkyst. Ditto. 
Pp. 37-50. 

Tins is the account of how they dragged an aluminium boat along the 
north coast of Spitzbergen from W'aldeu island to Mauritius bay. 

L894. Spitzbergen and the Wellman Expedition. Nautical Magazine (London), 
September, 1894, p. 792. 

1894. Colonel H. W. Feilden. A Flying Visit to Spitsbergen. The Zoologist 
(London), 1895, pp. 81 90. 

Bibliography 325 

1894. BlNBT J. Pbabson. Beyond Petsora Eastward. Two Summer Voyages to 
Novaya Zemlya and the Islands of Barents Sea . . . With Appendices 
on the Botany and Geology by Colonel II. AY. Feildeu. London: 18 
E ■ «. B.M. 10,460, g. 19. 

Includes notes on glacial deposits iu Green Harbour, Spitsbergen, p. 255. 

1894. Pleasure Cruise to the "Land of the Midnight Sun "and the Spitsbergen 

Polar Sea by the Orient Company's ss. " Lusitania." London : 1894. 8to. 
An illustrated pamphlet 'issued to advertise the proposed cruise. P.M. 
10,460, ff. 18. 
L894. Victor H. Gatty. Spitsbergen, Ice Fiord. Ascent of Mount Lusitania. 
Alpine Journal (London), xvii. p. 309. 

1894. Lieut. G. T. Temple. Spitsbergen and Norway in August, 1894. Pleasure 

cruise ... by the . . . ss. •• Lusitania." -ito. 

1895. Visit of the Training Squadron to Spitsbergen in the summer of 1895. Geo- 

graphical Journal ^London), December. 1895, p. 547. 

- ">. L. F. Hkrz. TropischesundArctisches. Berlin: 1896. 8vo. B.M. 010,026, 
i. 3. 

1-;"!. Sir William Martin Conway. The First Crossing of Spitsbergen. Being 
an Account of an Inland Journey of Exploration and Survey, with Descrip- 
tions of several Mountain Ascents, of Boat Expeditions iu Ice Fjord, of a 
Voyage to North-East Land, the Seven Islands, down Hinloopen Strait, 
nearly to Wicbes Land, and into most of the Fjord- 1 i ~-"itzbergen, and of 
an almost complete circumnavigation of the main Island. . . . With 
contributions by J. W. Gregory, A. Trevor-Bat; vo. and E. J. Garwood. 
London : IS','7. 8vo. 

1896. Sir Martin Conway. The First Crossing of Spitsbergen. Geographical 

J irnal (London\ April, 1S97. 

1896. J. AY. Gregory. Across Spitsbergen. Transactions of the Liverpool G 

graphical Society, 1S9S, pp. 41-58. 
1896. E. J. Garwood and J. AY. Gregory. Contributions to the Glacial Geology 

of Spitsbergen. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, ISPS, pp. 

1896. E. J. Garwood. Across Spitsbergen with Sir Martin Conway, with an 

account of the ascent of Hornsund Tind. Alpine Journal, 1897, pp. 

1896. A. Treyor-Battye. The Birds of Spitsbergen. Ibis (London), 1897, p. 574. 

1896. Nils Strihdberg. Kartb ofver Amsterdamon med onigifiringar. Ymcr, 

1897, pp. 13-16. 

1896. Georg AA'egener. Zum ewigen Eise. Eine Sommerfahrt ins nordliche 
Polarmeer und Begeguung mit Andres und Xansen. Berlin : 1S97. Svo. 

1896. Gekard De Geer. Bapport om den svenska geologiska expeditionen till 
Isfjorden pa Spetsbergen somrnaren 1896. Ymcr, 189(3. Pp. 1-S. 

1896-7. Charles Babot. L'Alpinisme au Spitsberg, Les Ascensions de Sir Martin 
Conway. Ouvrage traduit et resume par Chark-s Babot. Paris : 1901. Svo. 

1S90-7. Gvstaf Xorselius. Special Ufver Danskgattet. Ymcr, 1898, pp. 17-23. 

1896-7. Henri Laciiambre and A. Machuron. Andree and his Balloon. London: 

1898. Svo. 

326 Bibliography 

1897. Jonas Stabling. Andree's Flight into the Unknown. Century Magazine 

(New York), 1897, vol. 55, pp. 81, 155. 
1897. Jonas Stadling. A Carrier Pigeon : Andree's Messenger, 1897. Century 

Magazine (New York), 1898, pp. 477, 706. 

1897. Prof. A. G. Nathorst. Undersokningar betraffande den pa Knng Karls 
Land fnnna stora flytbojen fran Andree-expeditionen. Ymer, 1899. 

1897. Sir W. Martin Conway. With Ski and Sledge over Arctic Glaciers. 
London: 1898. 8vo. 

1897. . An Exploration in 1897 of some of the Glaciers of Spitsbergen. 

Geographical Journal (London), August, 1898. 
1897. E. J. Garwood. Additional Notes on the Glacial Phenomena of Spitsbergen. 

Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 1899, pp. 681-691. 

1897. Arnold Pike. A Cruise on the East of Spitsbergen. Geographical Journal 
(London), April, 1898, p. 365. 

1897. G. Meisenbach. En fard till Sjuoarne Sommaren 1897. Ymer, 1898, pp. 

1897. Victor H. Gatty. A Spitsbergen Glacier Expedition. Alpine Journal, 

1897, pp. 501-506. 

1897. Lucien Jottrand. Croquis du Nord. Bruxelles : 1898. 8vo. 

1897. Spitsbergens Gazette. The most northern newspaper in the Globe. Pub- 

lished at Spitsbergen weekly in the months of July and August. Nos. 
1-9, May-August, 1897. 
No more issued. 

1898. Prof. A. G. Nathorst. Tva Somrar i Norra Ishafvet: Kung Karls Land 

Spetsbergens kringsegling, Spanande efter Andree i nordostra Gronland. 
Stockholm: s. d. (1900). 8vo. 

1898. . The Swedish Arctic Expedition of 1898. Geographical Journal 

(London), July and August, 1898. 
1898. C. J. Otto Kjellstrom. En exkursion for uppmatining af Van Mijens bay 

under ars svenska polar-expedition. Ymer (Stockholm), 1901, pp. 29-34. 

1898. Axel Hamburg. Astronomische . . . Arbeiten der . . . Polarexpedition 

1898. K. Sv. Vetenskaps-Akademiens Eandl. Bd. 39 (1905), No. 6. 
With a new survey of Sardam (Van Keulen) Bay. 

1898. V. Carlheim-Gyllenskiold. Travaux de l'expedition suedoise au Spitz- 
bergen, 1898, pour la mesure d'un arc du meridien. Ofversigt K. Vetenskaps- 
Akademie Forhand. (Stockholm), 1899, pp. 631-652, 887-919 ; and 1900, 
pp. 499-515. 

1898. Dr. F. Bomer. Auf einem deutschen Fischdampfer um Spitsbergen und Konig- 
Karlsland. Jahresb. Frankfurter Geog. Verein, 1899-1901, pp. 160-163. 

1898. Ch. Hartlaub. Zoologische Ergebnisse einer Untersuchungsfahrt des 
Deutschen Seefischerei-Vereins nach der Bareninsel und Westspitzbergen 
ausgefiihrt im Sommer 1898 auf S.M.S. " Olga," Einleitung. Published in 
Wissensch. Meersuntersuchungen . . . , Neue Folge, B. iv. Abt. Helgoland, 
Heft 2. Oldenburg: 1900. 4to. 

1898. Prince Albert de Monaco. Exploration oceanographique aux regions 
polaires. Bulletin du Museum d'Hisloire Naturelle (Paris), 1899, p. 6. 

Bibliography 327 

1898. Jules Richard. Notes d'excursions au Spitsberg et aux ties voisines. 
Comptes Eendus des seances de la Soc. de Geographic, etc., anne'e 1899, 
pp. 66-78. Paris : 1900. 8vo. 
The Prince of Monaco's expedition. 

1898. Gekard De Geer. Nya bidrag till Spetsbergens geologi. Forh. vid 15 : de 

Skandinav. Naturforslcaremi'det i Stohholm 1898. Stockholm : 1899. 
Pp. 229-231. 
1898-9. William S. Bruce. Spitsbergen, 1898 and 1899: Voyages with H. 
S. H. the Prince of Monaco. Scottish Geographical Magazine (Edinburgh), 

1900, pp. 534-550. 

1S98-1900. O. Backlund. Mesure d'un arc de meridien au Spitzberg. Historique 
general et travaux des missions russes. Map and Illustrations. La Geo- 
graphic (Paris), 1901, pp. 287-296. 

1899. Prince Albert de Monaco. Comptes Bendus des seances de la Soc. de 

Geographie, etc., annee 1900, pp. 304-306. Paris : 1901. 8vo. 
1899. V. Carlheim-GyllenskGld. Uppmiitning af en meridiangradbage p<i 
Spetsbergen genom en svensk-rysk expedition. Tmer, 1900, pp. 209-227. 
Contains extracts from Mr. Rubin's report on explorations near Mount 

Vide Geographical Journal (London), April, 1901, p. 433. 
1899. Baron Gerard de Geer. Om gradmatningsniitets framforande ofver sodra 
och mellersta Spetsbergen. Ymer, 1900, pp. 281-302. 
Vide Geographical Journal (London), April, 1901, p. 434. 

1899. . Die Gletscher von Spitzbergen. Verh. Siehenten Lnternat. G. Kon- 

gres*es, 1899, 2 (1901), 299-302. 
1899-1900. Tschernyciiev. Relation des operations de la mission russe pendant 
l'hiver 1899-1900 et l'ete 1900. Resume du rapport de M. Tschernyschev. 
La Geographie (Paris), 1901, pp. 297-302. 

1899-1900. A. Hansky. Les Travaux de l'expedition russo-suedoise pour la mesure 
d'un arc de meridien au Spitzberg. Map and LI lustrations. Revue General 
Scient., 1902, pp. 1117-1130, 1165-1176. 

1899-1902. Tryggve Rubin. Le leseau de la base suedoise au Spitsbergen. 
Central try ckeriet, Stockholm : 1903. Pp. 1-49. 

1899-1902. Missions scientifiques pour la mesure d'un arc de meridien au Spitzberg, 
entreprises en 1899-1902 sous les auspices des gouvernements suedois et 
russe. Mission suedoise. Stockholm : 1903, etc. 4to. In course of publi- 

Section I. is to contain the history of the voyages, Section IX. A. the 
topographic description of the regions explored. 

1901. Gerard De Geer. Rapport till Kungl. Kommitten for gradmatning 
pa Spetsbergen ofver den svenska gradmatningsexpeditionens arbeten 

1901. Stockholm: 1902. 


The list of Spitsbergen maps hereafter printed does not claim to be a complete 
list ; it merely includes all the maps that I have been able to find in a somewhat 
long-continued search. I have examined the map collections in a great many 
museums at home and abroad, and I have myself formed a small collection ; but 
doubtless a great many have escaped my observation, One early and important 
Butch map, copied by Guerard of Dieppe in 1C28, certainly existed, but I cannot 


find an example of it. The Muscovy Company must have possessed a number of 
important records of exploration, for we know that they sent boats out to explore, 
year after year, down to the middle of the sixteenth century. What their servants 
had discovered up to 1625 was included in the map published by Purcbas in that 
year, but all their later discoveries and records are lost. 

All the maps included in my list have been examined by me, unless the 



contrary is stated, and I have either obtained original examples, photographs, or 
tracings of them. My collection of originals and reproductions, hound together 
in an atlas, has been deposited in the map collection of the Eoyal Geographical 
Society, where it may be examined by any one who desires to do so. 

The earliest Spitsbergen map of all is, of course, that known as Barents', 
inscribed 'Auctore Wilhelmo Bernardo,' and dated 1598. It was a posthumous 
publication, and the best that can be said of it is that it may have been drawn 
from materials left by Barents. A passage in De Veer's 'Three Voyages' must, 
however, be recalled, in which he describes how, just before Barents died, he 
"looked at my (De Veer's) little chart, which 1 hud made touching our voyage, 
and we had some discussion about it." It is scarcely possible to avoid the suspicion 
that this may be the draft that was published as Barents'. It appeared for the 
first time in 1599, in the second part of the abridged Latin edition of Lindschoten's 
Itinerarium, published by Cornelius Claesz. 


In this map there is an extraordinary blunder. The west coast of the island, 
which lies, in fact, almost in a straight line north by west, is represented as bent at 
right angles, so that the part of the coast above the Foreland trends east-north- 
east instead of west-north-west, the direction of the part south of the Foreland. 
How the blunder arose we cannot now say ; possibly from some written note in 
which east was set down (as not seldom happens) by mistake for west. This error 
was remarkably persistent. It is found on all sorts of maps, long after more 
correct and detailed surveys had been made, and it even infects such surveys. 
Thus, for instance, though Vischer's world-map of 1639 shows Spitsbergen fairly 
correctly, as then known, the younger Vischer, in his world-map of 1657, returns 
to the old Barents type of sixty years before. 

In the years immediately following the discovery, the Barents type, of course, 
held the field. We find it on Franciscus Hoeius' map of the world of about 1600, 



in the Bodel Nyenhuis Collection at Leyden ; and we find it on Wright's (com- 
monly called Hakluyt's) map of 1600 — "the new map" of Shakespeare's Twelfth 
Night. It appears, also, on the second state of Gerardus Mercator's map of the 
North Polar regions, and on the Molyneux Globe in the library of tbe Middle 
Temple. It was used with little change by Jodocus Hondius in his ' History of 
Amsterdam' (1611), and in the Arctic map in ' Recentes Novi Orbis Historise' 
(Colonic Allob., 1612). It even appears on the globe engraved by Abraham Goos 
and published by J. Janssonius at Amsterdam in 1621, though in 1620, as we 
shall see, the same A. Goos had engraved a far superior map of Spitsbergen. In 
1625 it was still the best representation known at Dieppe, where Jean Guerard 

i^v'/nto «''ti»fi 

john daniel's chart of Spitsbergen (1612). 
Published in Hessel Gerrits' ' Histoire du pays nomine Spitsberghe ' (Amsterdam, 1013). 

published it as " Terre de Nieuwe Landt," in his ' Nouvelle Description bydro- 
graphique de tout le Monde.' It reappeared again and again in editions of Mercator's 
Atlas down to 1633, and even in 1657, as we have seen, it was still to the fore. 

The first fairly truthful draft of the west coast was the chart known as John 
Daniel's. The Muscovy Company from the first caused surveys to be made of the 
coasts explored by their servants, but they seem to have endeavoured to keep 
these surveys secret. Their expedition of 1611 did a good deal of exploration. 
Next year the first Dutch whaling ship went to Spitsbergen, under the command 



of Willem Cornelisz. van Muyden, piloted by an English deserter named Allen 
Sallowes, "a man imployed by the Muscovia Companie in the Northerne Seas for 
the space of twentie yeeres before; who, leaving his country for debt, was enter- 
tayned by the Hollanders, and imployed by them to bring them to Greenland 
[Spitsbergen] for their Pylot." Daniel's chart doubtless went over to Holland in 
Sallowes' pocket. It was published in 1613 at Amsterdam by Hessel Gerrits, in 
his polemical tract entitled ' Histoire du pays nomme Spitsberghe,' wherein (p. 12) 
the following reference is made to it : " Avons suivy pour la plus grand part les 


annotations des Angloys, tires d'unne carte de Johan Daniel, escrite a Londres, 
l'an 1612." Daniel appears to have been a London cartographer. It is recorded * 
that the East India Company's ships in 1615 used "a platte of John Danyell's 
making (being Mercator's projection) for their voyage to the Cape. Gerrits' edition 
of Daniel's map was the foundation upon which the Dutch type of Spitsbergen 
chart was gradually built up. A degraded copy of it, with the names in Dutch, 
is found on the globe of Guglielmus Csesius, dated 1622. 

* See the Hakluyt Society's edition of Sir T. V. Roe's ' Journal,' vol. i. p. 3, note. 



The map drawn in 1614 by Carolus to illustrate his explorations was never 
published, nor did he incorporate it in his later chart. It shows Edge island in 
a vague fashion. It stands outside the regular line of development. The next 
definite step in advance made by the Dutch (with whom we are for the present 
alone concerned) was made in a map drawn by Harmen and Marten Jansz. of 
Edam, engraved by A. Goos in 1620, and published by Jan Eversz. Cloppenberg 
at Amsterdam in 1621. For brevity I refer to it as the Goos map of 1620. The 

vkolicq's map of 1634. 

only copy of it I have seen was in Baron Nordenskiold's collection, and has passed 
with that into the university library of Helsingfors.* In addition to the west 
coast, as depicted by Daniels, it shows a small part of the north and east coasts, 
the mouth of Wybe Jans water, Swarthoeck away to the east, and Hope island 
south of it. That Swarthoeck was the south-west point of Edge island and on 
the east shore of Wybe Jans water, was not realized by the Dutch for a good 

* I have been unable to get a photograph of this important map. There is a 
tracing of it in my atlas at the Iioyal Geographical Society. 



334 Cartography 

many years. They went on marking Whales point without name as the east side 
of Wybe Jans water and Swarthoeck far away to the east, as if part of some other 
island, even after 1650, when far truer information was available. From the Goos 
map (1620) we can follow the development of this type through a whole series. 
There must have been another Dutch map of similar type published soon after- 
wards, which Guerard of Dieppe copied in 1628. This was followed, with some 
changes of names, by the map inserted by Joris Carolis in his atlas of 1634, 
called ' Het nieuw vermeerde Licht,' etc. The same type was also employed by 
Yrolicq (1634) to illustrate his remonstrance. The corresponding Dutch case was 
supported by a large manuscript chart, which belongs generally to the type of 
the period, but presents many small divergencies, especially to the eastward, 
not repeated in later charts. It was drawn by Michiel Hsz. Middelhoven, and 
is now preserved in the Eijks Archief at the Hague. A number of Dutch pilots 
swore to its truthfulness. Let us hope they have been forgiven. Isaac Commelijn 
copied Carolus' chart, with the addition of mountains decoratively dotted about, 
into his ' Begin ende Voortgarjgh vande Nedelandtsche Oostindische Compagnie ' 
(1644), but, while saying nothing of his indebtedness to Carolus, he quotes Daniels' 
map of 1612 as his chief authority. Next year the same type turns up in Anthony 
Jacobsz.' edition of Carolus' atlas, and in 1648 in Jacob Aertsz. Colom's ' Der Vyerighe 
Colom' (Amsterdam), and it reappears in other publications of Colom's, printed 
and manuscript,* down to 1654. Other Amsterdam publishers made use of it — 
Pieter Goos and Cornells de Leeuw in 1650, in a Pascaert (Brit. Mus. 982 (13)) ; 
Janssen, in another almost identical (Brit. Mus. 982 (11)); Willem Iansz. Blaeu, in 
his 'Zeespiegel' (Amsterdam, 1652, chart No. 48); and finally, as late as 1703, 
in the English translation of Constantin de Beneville's ' Voyages.' Carolus' majj 
of 1634 may, in fact, be regarded as the typical Dutch map-maker's idea of Spits- 
bergen from about 1620 to 1655. That type, however, as we shall now show, did 
not stand without a rival in England. 

The Muscovy Company's servants no doubt brought home surveys year after 
year, but they have all disappeared save part of one. This is the lower half of a 
manuscript chart of the west coast, surveyed in 1613, apparently by R. Fotherby, 
and now preserved with his journal in the library of the American Antiquarian 
Society at Worcester, Mass. It is more accurate than the corresponding portion of 
the map we have next to consider. As the names upon it do not appear else- 
where, it was doubtless never published, and not even used as material by any 
compiler. This brings us to the very important map published in 1625 in the 
third volume of Purchas' ' Pilgrims,' reissued in 1631 in Pellham's ' God's Power 
and Providence,' and finally in the fourth volume of Churchill's ' Collection of 
Voyages ' (1704-1732). This is generally known as Edge's map, because it 
contains the result of his explorations, but I prefer to call it the Muscovy Com- 
pany's map, for it is drawn from materials in the company's possession, and includes 
all the discoveries made by their servants up to the date of its appearance. It is 
far better than any previous map, and than most that followed it ior half a century. 
It shows the west coasts of Barents and Edge islands, the south point of North- 
East Land, and, by marking Wiches Land, has given rise to much controversy. 
This is the last seventeenth-century British contribution to Spitsbergen topography. 
The Muscovy Company's servants continued their explorations from year to year 
for many years, but none of their observations have ever been published, nor have 

* Manuscript chart in British Museum, S.T.A. (2) f. 






they survived. This Muscovy Company's map produced considerable! influence 
upon foreign cartographers. A rudo Italian copy of it appeared in 1630 in Sir 
Robert Dudley's 'Dell' Arcano del Mare' (Florence); but that includes some 
names and rude details in the west coast of Edge island, which I suspect were 



















derived from the men of Hull. Luke Fox's C ire urn polar map of 1U35 contains a 
small representation of Spitsbergen, obviously based in a general way upon the 
Muscovy Company's map; but the north coast is carried much farther north, and 
three islands are inserted in about lat. 82°, named " Shefferde Orcades," a name I 
have not met with elsewhere. The Muscovy Company's type of Spitsbergen is 



found in the polar chart in Hexham's English edition of the atlas of Mercator and 
Hondius of 1G36, but till 1662 I cannot find that it was known to Dutch carto- 
graphers, except that in 1652, in Blaeu's • Seespiegel,' the above-mentioned polar 
chart is copied, and the little Spitsbergen with it. But the special map of Spits- 
bergen in the second volume adheres to the old Carolus type. 

It was the enterprising Hendrick Doncker who first gave currency to a more 
developed Spitsbergen in his atlas in 1655. He also added a valuable local chart 
of Smeerenburg bay, afterwards copied by Van Loon (c. 1660) and by G. van 
Keulen (c. 1705-1710). Jan Janssonius, the successor of Mercator and the Hondius, 
and the rival of the Blaeus, copied Blaeu's copy of Hexham's polar chart in 1657. 

, - • ta -, - w - - - -' - ~ --_---J-U««*.-»-\.- -> J^r. L ^ -J _'_ - - 

! 2g^i - 


1 < !V t 7 > I'i 1 SB erg ^\yL- 



Doucker's type was adopted by most Dutch publishers, such as Van Loon (c. 1660), 
Colom (c. 1660), and P. Goos (1662). 

Down to about 1662 published maps lagged far behind actual contemporary 
knowledge of Spitsbergen. All the north bays, Hinlopen strait, North-East Land, 
the Seven Islands, Byk Yse islands, the position of the east coast of Edge island — 
all these features were known to the whalers before 1650; none of them were 
recorded on any known map. But in or about 1662 map-makers began to bestir 
themselves. Valk and Schenk of Amsterdam issued a large-scale map, very bad 
in many respects, but at least marking Wyde bay, the mouth of Hinlopen strait 
and the coast of North-East Land. The names on this map, and its western half 
generally, were copied by later Dutch map-makers, as we shall see. Colom, in his 
1 Zeeatlas ' of about the same date, though mainly following Doncker's map of 1655, 
corrected its north coast and depicted Wiche sound (Liefde bay), Wyde bay, Hinlopen 



338 Cartography 

strait, and Treurenberg bay. Whether these efforts were provoked by Blaeu, or 
whether he was stimulated by them, at all events, about the same time (16G2) 
he published a large-scale ' Spitsberga,' which stands alone amongst Dutch charts. 
With the exception of the north coast, it copies the Muscovy Company's map of 
1625. The north coast is altogether new. It makes the heads of Wiche sound 
(Liefde bay) and Wyde bay communicate, and it marks and names Hinlopen 
strait. It introduces a number of names not found elsewhere before or after. It 
is far more beautifully engraved than any other Spitsbergen map. Curiously 
enough, though published in Blaeu's famous atlas, it was never imitated, nor were 
any of its characteristic features repeated by any other Dutch publisher. 

The three novel maps of 1662 were really little better than those that had 
gone before them. Two of them were more imposing, and that was all. But 
H. Doncker, who in 1655 had definitely replaced Carolus' type by his own, took 
an important further step in 1663. The map he then published really begins to 
resemble the form of the country it professes to depict. It definitely marks the 
eastern limits of Spitsbergen, Barents island, and Edge island. It shows two of 
the three main bays in Hinlopen strait, and it indicates the Seven Islands and the 
north and west shores of North-East Land. It also marks the Byk Yse islands, 
and it finally omits the drifted off Swartehook, which Colom had retained in his 
otherwise innovating map of the previous year. On the other hand, it omits a 
number of bays which were clearly marked by Carolus, and it shows increasing 
ignorance about the west coast, the bays being now little frequented by the 
whalers, whose work henceforward was chiefly done at sea. Doncker's new type 
was copied by Pieter Goos in ' De Zee- Atlas ' of 1666, and repeated in other editions 
of that work — Spanish 1669, English 1669 and 1670. Curiously enough, in or 
after 1684, Doncker published a much larger Spitsbergen map, rough in execution, 
in no part more accurate than this of 1663, and in some parts much less accurate. 
His obliteration of the earlier and truer form of Wiche sound (Liefde bay) may be 
indicated. Close examination proves that the western and southern parts of this 
later map were actually traced, and the names copied, from Valk and Schenk's 
map of 1662, which Doncker's own map of 1663 put into the shade ! 

However, this large map seems to have been a success, for Jacobus Bobijn 
copied it on a smaller scale, and J. van Keulen did so almost slavishly for his atlas 
of 1689. G. van Keulen, about 1705-6, reissued this map with little alteration 
except in the form and name of Wyde bay. 

Meanwhile English cartographers left Spitsbergen alone. When first observed 
it may seem surprising, but on reflection it will be found natural, that from the 
date of the publication of the Muscovy Company's map by Purchas in 1625 down 
to the issue of Scoresby's map in 1820, no original or improved chart was issued 
from England or as the result of English surveys. English whaling was first 
carried on by the Muscovy Company, who had reasons, or thought they had, for 
keeping their discoveries and surveys secret. It seems probable that their records 
were destroyed in the Fire of London — at any rate, they are not known to have 
been seen for more than two centuries. After their day was done, English whaling 
utterly declined. On the other hand, throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries, whaling was one of the most energetically pursued Dutch industries. 
Thus all the new charts were Dutch, and such English Spitsbergen charts as were 
issued from time to time were belated copies of Dutch publications. 

In the text accompanying the English atlas published at Oxford by Moses 
Pitt (1680-83), it is written, " Had our men . . . been careful to make Charts as 





22 2 

34o Cartography 

our industrious Neighbours (the Dutch) oblige their shipmasters to do, divers 
discoveries had been asserted to this Nation, which are now almost disputed from 
us. The Dutch gave names ... to places long before discovered by the English, 
as if themselves had been the finders." The polar chart that follows is practically 
a copy of that in Hexham's Mercator, and it seems as though the Oxford editor 
only knew of the Muscovy Company's survey through that Dutch medium, so 
completely was geographical research and compilation at that day dominated by 
the energetic Dutch publishers of maps. So little did English map-makers know 
of the matter, that when, in 1671, John Sellar of Wapping issued a map of Spits- 
bergen in the 'English Pilot,' he traced Doncker's old map of 1655, eight years 
after his greatly improved map of 1663 had been published. 

In the year 1707 Giles, the Dutch whaling skipper, made his famous cir- 
cumnavigation of the whole Spitsbergen group, and discovered the east coast of 
North-East Land with the islands off it, and especially Giles Land. Another 
skipper, Outger Rep by name, went over part, at all events, of the same ground, for 
his name is given to an island off the eastern part of the north coast Of North-East 
Land. These two meD, Giles and Rep, were whalers of experience, and seem to 
have been regarded in their day as the best authorities on Spitsbergen geography. 
Accordingly, Gerard van Keulen, the enterprising map publisher of Amsterdam, 
employed them to produce for him an entirely new Spitsbergen chart on a much 
larger scale than any before published. The result was the'Nieuwe afteekeninjj; 
van Het Eyland Spits-Bergen opgegeven door de Commandeurs Giles en Outger 
Rep en in't Ligt gebragt en uytgegeven door Gerard van Keulen,' unfortunately 
without a date (about 1710). This chart represents the high-water mark of the 
prescientific surveys of Spitsbergen. Almost every important feature of the coast 
is set down somehow, though with great inaccuracies in latitudes and longitudes. 
Some features are depicted which the modern charts wrongly ignore, as, for instance, 
the little bay of the Basques between Magdalena and Hamburger bays. In point 
of nomenclature, the Giles and Rep chart is less valuable. Many of the old names 
had been forgotten, others transposed. Some sites were wrongly identified," as, for 
instance, that of the English settlement in Bell sound. But, on the whole, the 
chart is a very fine work for its date. It was not superseded till the modern 
survey was made. Parry used it on his polar expedition in 1827, and bore witness 
to its rough general truthfulness. Van Keulen issued it on a smaller scale, with 
the surrounding seas, in his ' Oostersee Karten.' Zorgdrager practically copied it 
with unimportant alterations in the various editions of his ' Bloeyende Opkomst 
der . . . Groenlandsche Visschery ' *of 1720 and later. It is unfortunate that 
Giles' own work should not be better recorded. Daines Barrington instituted 
inquiries about it, and put on record that Mr. C. Heidinger, publisher in the 
Strand, London, intended in 1775 to use Giles' surveys (of which he had copies) 
" for a new and accurate map of Spitsbergen, for which he has collected many 
valuable materials, which he proposes to add to a new edition of his translation 
of Prof, le Roy's ' Narrative of Four Russian Sailors.' " Heidinger published that 
narrative in 1771, but the proposed second edition and new map seem never to 
have been issued, and all the materials collected are lost. 

R. van Wyck also freely copied the Giles and Rep chart towards the end of the 
eighteenth century, making a further confusion in the names. His original 
manuscript drawing is preserved in the library of the New York Geographical 
Society, and there is an accurate tracing of it in my atlas at the Royal Geo- 
graphical Society in London. A small engraved copy of it illustrates B. de Reste's 

CartograpJiy 34 1 

'Ilistoire des Peches' (Paris, 1801, vol. iii. p. 79), and a large engraved copy is 
included in the portfolio accompanying R. G. Bennet and J. van Wijk's ' Verhand- 
lung over de Nederlandsche Ontdekkingen,' etc. (Utrecht, 1827). Zorgdrager's 
version of the Giles and Rep chart finally served as foundation for the map intro- 
duced by Scoresby to illustrate his 'Arctic Regions' (London, 1820), the chief 
difference between the two being that Scoresby, by compressing the longitudes 
approximately to their just extent, made the geueral contour of the west island 
fairly correct. 

With the survey work and published maps of the modern epoch of exact 
science we are not here concerned. 

342 List of Maps 


1598. The Barents' chart. First published in the second part of the abridged 
Latin edition of Lindschoten's Navigatio ac Itinerarium (Amsterdam, 
1599). The chart is dated 1598, and inscribed " Auctore Wilhelmo 
Bernardo." Spitsbergen, as thus represented, occurs on numerous other 
maps, charts, and globes, such as Gerardus Mercator's Map of the North 
Polar regions (c. 1599), Wright's Map of the World (1600), the Molyneux 
Globe in the Middle Temple Library (corrected in 1603), etc. 

1611. Tabula Nautica of Jodocus Hondius,.published in Pontanus' Rerum et Urbis 

Amstelodamensium Eistoria (Amsterdam, 1611). Spitsbergen is of the 
Barents type, with a few additions intended to illustrate the voyage and 
supposed discoveries of Hudson in 1607. 

1612. John Daniel's Map. The original was drawn in London in 1612 by John 

Daniel, the cartographer, from materials belonging to the Muscovy 

Company. It was published by Hessel Gerritsz. in his Histoire du pays 

nomme Spitsberghe (Amsterdam, 1612). 
1612. K. Fotherby's MS. Map. The upper portion is lost. The lower portion 

is in the library of the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, Mass. 

U.S.A., in a MS. journal of Fotherby's voyage in 1613. 
1614. Joris Carolus' MS. map. It is dated 1614, and inscribed " Joris Carolus 

Stierman Gxrtschryver tot EnchTi" (Enkhuizen). The original is pre- 
served in the Pep. des cartes de la marine at Paris. 
1620. Nieuwe Pascaerte van alle de Zeecusten van geheel Europa . . . afgeteikent 

door Harmen en Marten Iansz. vermaert Caartschrijvers tot Edam ende 

gedruckt £ Amstelredam bij Ian Eversz. Cloppenburg opH water in den 

vergulden Bijbel bij de CorenmarcJct. Anno 1621. Abraham Goos 

Amstelodamensis sculpsit. 1620. 

An example of this map is in the Nordenskiold Collection, University 

Library, Helsingfors. 
1622. Terrestrial Globe by Guljelmus Cajsius. Spitsbergen is of the Daniel type, 

but the names are mostly Dutch. Examples of this globe are in the 

Doge's Palace and the Correr Museum at Venice. 
1625. Terre de Nieuwe Landt in Jean Guerard's Nouvelle Description hydro- 

graphique de tout le monde (Dieppe, 1625). Spitsbergen is inaccurately 

copied from the Barents type. 
1625. The Muscovy Company's Map, generally called " Edge's map." Published 

in Purchas' Pilgrimes, part iii. (London, 1625), in Pellham's God's Power 

and Providence, etc. (London, 1631), and in Churchill's Voyages (London, 

1630. Carta particolare della Terra di Greneland, Carta 49 in Parte seconda del 

Tomo terzo of Sir Piobert Dudley's DdV Arcano del Mare (Florence, 1630). 

List of Maps 343 

1634. Het Nieuwe Lant van Spitsbergen, map 22 in Joris Carolus' Het Nieuio 

vermeerde Licht ghenaemt de Sleutel vaii't Tresor, Spiegel, Gesicht, ende 

Vierighe Colom des Orooten Zeevxrts . . . Ghedruckt tot Amsteldam By 

Ian Ianssen Boeck-vercooper opH Water inde Pas-kaert (Amsterdam, 1634). 

A copy of this book is in the Rijks Archief at the Hague. 

1634. La France arctique, a portion of a large MS. chart on vellum, probably 
prepared by Vrolicq in support of his claim for a share in the whaling 
industry. It belongs to Mr. C. GL Cash, 46, Cumely Bank Eoad, Edin- 
burgh. An inaccurate copy of this version of Spitsbergen is found on 
Jean Guerard's Carte universelle hydrographique of 1634, an example of 
which is in the Dep. des cartes de la marine at Paris. 

1634. Waere afteyckeninge vanH Lant van Spitsbergen. Anno 1634. Signed 
Michel Hsz. Middelhouen fecit. MS. map in the Rijks Archief at the 
Hague. This map was made to accompany the Noordsche Company's 
protest against Vrolicq's pretensions. 

1636. Polar chart in H. Hexham's edition of G. Mercatoris et J. Hondii Atlas 
(London, 1636). British Museum, 2059. f. 

1644. Delineatio Spitsbergx in Isaac Commelijn's Begin ende^Voortgangh vande 
Neederlandtsche Oostindische Compagnie (Amsterdam, 1644). The text 
states that the map is based on that drawn by John Daniel in London in 

1G45. '£ Nieiv gevonde lant van Spitsberge, before p. 57 in Anthony Jacobsz.' Be 
Lichtende Colomne ofte Zee Spiegel (Amsterdam, 1645). The map is a 
rude copy of that in the Atlas of Joris Carolus of 1634. 

1648. Map of Spitsbergen in Jacob Aertsz. Colom's De Vyerighe Colom (Amster- 
dam, 1648), and in the editions of 1649 and 1654. A rude copy of the 
map in Carolus' Atlas. 

c. 1648. Der Groote Noorde Zee Wassende Grade Pas Caart Nieulijcks Beschreven 
door Jacob Aertsz. Colom. MS. chart on vellum in the British Museum, 

STA (2) f. 

1650. Pascaart van de Zee-custen van Buslant . . . Spitsbergen en Nova Zemla 
Op mens oversien en verbetert. 1650. V Amsterdam Bij Pieter Goes . . . 
en Cornelis de Leeuw. British Museum, 982 (13). 

c. 1650. Pascaart van de Zee-custen van Finmarken . . . Ruslant . . . Spitsbergen 
en Novcc Zemla. ? Amsterdam door Ian Ianssen. British Museum, 982. 

This chart is almost the same as the preceding. 

c. 1652. Pascaarte drawn by Cornelis Doedsz. of Edam, published by Willem 
Jansz. Blaeu of Amsterdam. The map of Spitsbergen is an inset. 

An example on vellum is in the Nordenskiold Collection, University 
Library, Helsingfors. Probably this is the example referred to by S. 
Muller (• Gesch. der Noordsche Co.,' p. 427, note). 

1652. Regiones sub polo arctico. A circumpolar chart in Willem Jansz. Blaeu's 
Zeespiegel (Amsterdam, 1652). It was copied from the corresponding 
chart in Hexham's edition of Mercator's Atlas (1636). The plate was 
republished in a later state by Valk and Scheok c. 1680 (see below). 

344 List of Maps 

1652. H Nieuw gevonden lant Spitsberge. Map 48 in W. Jsz. Blaeu's Zeespiegel 
(Amsterdam, 1652). 

1655. Pas-caerte van Spitsbergen met alle haer Bivieren, havens, bayen, sanden, en 
droogten als mede Hoe men C. de Uyt Kych op Spitsbergen van de Noord 
Caap en Beeren Eylandt bezeylen sal. Map 23f , before p. 77 in Hendrick 
Doncker's De Lichtende Columne ofte Zee-Spiegel (Amsterdam, 1655). 
British Museum, 570 i. 10. 

1655. Pascaart vande zeecusten van Bvslant, Laplant, Finmarken en Spitzbergen. 
Map 17, after p. 56, in the same atlas as the preceding. British Museum, 
570 i. 10. 

1655. Local chart of Mauritius Bay, on p. 79 of Hendrick Doncker's De Lichtende 

Columne ofte Zee-Spiegel (Amsterdam, 1655). British Museum, 570 i. 10. 
Copies of this appear in J. Van Loon's Pascaert (Amsterdam, c. 1660 ; 
British Museum, 982 (16)), and in Van Keulen's Nieuwe Pascaert 
(Amsterdam, c. 1705-10). S. Muller (' Gesch. der Noordsche Co.' p. 
427, note) mentions Fen zeer groote geteekende kaart van Spitsbergens 
noordwesthoele in het bezit (1874) van den heer F. Muller te Amsterdam. 
This may be in the Nordenskiold Collection, University Library, 
Helsingfors. Muller implies that it formed part of a MS. atlas of 
Van Keulen. 

1656. Map of the IJszee in Colom's Atlas of 1656 (not seen by me). 

1657. Nova et Accurata Poli Arctici et terrarum Circum Jacentem Descriptio. 

Apud Joannem Janssonium. In Jannsonius' Atlas of 1657. 
British Museum, 982 (10). 
This is a copy of Blaeu's Polar Chart of 1652. 

1658. Pascaart van de Zee-Custen van Buslant, Laplant, Finmarken, Spitsbergen 

en Nova-Zemla Nieuwlycx uytgegevon f Amsterdam bij Hendrick Doncker 
... A 1658. Not seen by me. 

1661. Pascaert van Ruslant . . . Spitsbergen en Nova Zemla t' Amsterdam bij 

Johannes Van Loon. British Museum, 982 (16). ■ 

This also appears in Van Loon's Klaer-Lichtende Noorte-Star Ofte Zee- 
Atlas (Amsterdam, 1661 ; British Museum, 7 Tab. 87), and in the second 
edition (Amsterdam, 1666 ; British Museum, S. 109 (17)). 

1662. Pascaart vande zeecusten van Buslant, Laplant, Finmarken, en Spitsbergen, 

in Pieter Goos' De Nieuwe Groote See-spiegel (Amsterdam, 1662). 

1662. Spitsberga, a map copied from the Muscovy Company's of 1625 with some 

additions, including Hinloopen strait. It appears in vol. i. of Blaeu's Atlas 

Major (Amsterdam, 1662). Two walruses, copied from Hessel Gerritsz.' 

print, are introduced into the frame of this title. 
c. 1662. Spifzberga. Amstelxdami Apud G. Valk et P. Schenk. Hydrographic 

Department of the Admiralty, London (x. ii. Akim). 
c. 1662. Nieuwe Pascaart door Arnold Colom, in Colom's Zee-atlas (Amsterdam, 

c. 1662). British Museum, Shelf 112 (27). 

1663. Paskaert van Spitsbergen met Alle zijn Zeecusten zoo vel tot noch toe Bekent 

is. Bij Hendrick Doncker, 1663. In Doncker's atlas. British Museum, 
S. 4 (18). Reproduced above. 

This is the first map to mark the Seven Islands and the east coast. 

List of Maps 345 

1606. De C usten van Noorioegen, Finmarken, Laplandt, Spitsbergen, Ian May en, 
Eylandt, etc. t' Amsterdam, bij Pieter Goos opH Water inde Vergulde 

This map appears in P. Goos' De Zee- Atlas ofte Water-weereld 
(Amsterdam, 1666 ; other editions in 1669, 1670, 1672). 

1666 Be Zee Custen van Ruslant, Laplant, Finmarken, Spitsbergen, en Nova Zemla. 
f 'Amsterdam, bij Pieter Goos opH water bij de Nieuwe brugh in de 
Vergulde Zee Spiegel. 

This chart appears with the preceding. 

1666. Pas-kaert van Spitsbergen met alle zyn Zee-kusten zoo veel tot noch toe bekent 
is. t Amsterdam. By Joannes Janssonius van Waesberge. 

Map 7 in Vai Loon's Zee-Atlas (Amsterdam, 1666). British Museum, 
S. 109 (17). 

After 1670. Nieuwe Paskaert van Spitsbergen, Finmarken, Laplant, en Ruslant, 
streckende van Eitlant tot Nova Zemla. f Amsterdam, by Iacobus Robijn 
inde Nieubrugsteeg inde Stuurman. An example is in my Atlas of Spits- 
bergen in the Library of the Geographical Society, London. 

1671. A Chart of Greenland [i.e. Spitsbergen - ] Cherry Island and Hope Island by 
John Seller, in Wapping, in Seller's English Pilot (London, 1671), vol. i. 
p. 92. British Museum, 1804, b. 6. This is copied from the Chart in 
Doncker's atlas of 1655, but the names are changed. 

The same Atlas contains a General Chart of the Northerne Navigation 
and a Chart of the Sea Coasts of Russia, etc., both of which contain 
Spitsbergen on a small scale. The two latter charts reappear in Seller's 
Atlas Maritimus (London, 1675). 

1677. Pascaarte van alle de Zee-custen van Europa . . . door Willem, Pieter, en 
Joan Blaeu, tot Amsterdam, mdclxxvii. On vellum, in the Nordenskiold 
Collection, University Library, Helsingfors. 

1680. Pascaert, in J. van Keulen's Le Nouveau et grand illuminant flambeau de 
la mer (Amsterdam, 1680-8-4). Not seen by me. 

1680. A Map of the North Pole and the part adjoining. Oxon. At the theater, 
1680. In vol. i. of Moses Pitt's English Atlas (Oxford, 1680). A copy of 
the Polar Chart in Hexham's edition of Mercator's atlas of 1636. 

c. 1680. Nova et accurata Poli Arctici . . . Descriptio, by G. Valk and P. Schenk 
(Amsterdam). This is a second state of the same plate as was used to 
print Blaeu's Polar Chart of 1652, Spitsbergen and other details being 
re-engraved. British Museum, 982 (18). 

1687. A large-scale map of Spitsbergen, being a division of the Paskaarte van 
Ysland Spitsberge en Jan Mayen Eyland. t' Amsterdam, by Johannis Van 
Keulen. Before page 79 in J. Van Loon and Olaes Jansz. Vooght's De 
Nieuwe Groote Lichtende Zee-Facket. f Amsterdam, Gedruckt by Johannes 
van Keulen. 1687. British Museum. S. 61 (2). 

This map is copied, with some added names, from Doncker's of 1663. 

1687. Nieuwe Paskaart vande Geheele Oosterze en Noortze, etc. f Amsterdam, by 
Johannis Van Keulen. 

In the same atlas as the preceding. 

346 List of Maps 

1687. Paskaart van't Noordelykste deel dcr Noort Zee. t' 'Amsterdam, by Johannis 
Van Keulen. 

From the same atlas as the preceding. In the corner of the plate is an 
engraviDg of men on ski. 

1687. A rough chart of Magdalena bay, marking anchorages and glaciers, on page 

80 of the same atlas as the preceding, 
c. 1700. Spitsbergen. Pas-caert met alle haer Rivieren, etc. Amsterdam, by Cas- 

parus Lootsmann. 42 x 26 cms. Not seen by me. 
1703. Map of Spitsbergen [in Constantin de Keneville's Voyages, vol. i. p. 94 

(Rouen, 1725), and in the English translation (Londou, 1703). 

1705-10. Nieuwe Pascaart Inhoudende 7 Noorder deel van Europa . . . H Amster- 
dam, by Joannes van Keulen . . . Nieuwelijkx Opgestelt door G. van 

A local chart of Mauritius bay, copied from Doncker's Atlas of 
1655 is inset. 

After 1707. Nieuwe afteekning van Het Eyland Spits-Bergen opgegeven door de 
Commandeurs Giles en Outger Rep en irCt Ligt gebragt en uytgegeven door 
Gerard van Keulen. Map 53 of Van Keulen's Oostersee Karten. British 
Museum, S. 113 (2). Reproduced above. 

After 1707. Nieuve Zee-Kaart van het Noorde Gedeelte van Europa Beginnende 
van de Eijlanden van Eitland en Fero tot Spitsbergen en Archangel, to 
Amsterdam, by Joannes van Keulen. Map 38 of Van Keulen's Oostersee 
Karten. British Museum, S. 113 (2). 

1720. Map of Spitsbergen in Zorgdrager's Bloeyende Opkomst, etc. (Amsterdam, 

After 1771. MS. Map of Spitsbergen, signed " R. Van Wyk Jacz. dell," in the 
library of the New York Geographical Society. A small engraved copy of 
this appeared in B. de Reste's Histoire des Peches (Paris, 1801), vol. iii. 
facing p. 79. A large eugraved copy of the same forms part of the port- 
folio of maps accompanying R. G. Bennet and J. Van Wijk's Verhandlung 
over de Nederlandsche Ontdtkkingen, etc. (Utrecht, 1827). 

1820. Map of Spitsbergen in W. Scoresby's Arctic Regions (Edinburgh, 1820). 

Reproductions of several of the above-mentioned old Spitsbergen maps were 
published by F. de Bas in Tijdschrift van het Aardrijkskundig Genootschap le 
Amsterdam (Deel iii. No. 1). 


The various points, bays, islands, and other sites in and around Spitsbergen have 
borne a variety of names at different times. This was partly due to the variety of 
nationalities to which the frequenters of Spitsbergen have belonged, and to the 
fact that many of them knew nothing about the traditions of the others. More- 
over, records have been badly kept, and much evidence for the nomenclature in use 
at different dates has been altogether destroyed. Thus it happens that very few 
points or sites retain on modern maps the names originally bestowed upon them. 

When Barents discovered the land in 1596, he saw only parts of the west and 
north coasts. He named it Spitsbergen, not Spitzbergen, as modern writers, since 
the time of Martens (1671), so constantly misspell it. No Englishman saw Spits- 
bergen before Hudson in 1607. It suited the English claims to hold that it was 
part of Greenland, and they accordingly generally called it by that name down to 
the end of the eighteenth century. The Muscovy Company's men also named it 
King James' his New-land, and the name New-land is found on several early 
charts, but soon fell into disuse. In English State papers, Spitsbergen is almost 
invariably called Greenland, a fact which the compilers of the Calendar of State 
Papers have not noticed. 

In considering the names applied to different sites, it will be most convenient to 
begin at the South cape, and work thence northward up the west coast, then 
eastward along the north coast, and then back to the South cape down the east 
coast. Next we may proceed similarly rouud the coasts of Barents, Edge, and 
North-East islands in turn, noticing the outlying islands as we pass closest to 
them along the main shores. Almost all the old names pertain to points on the 
coast, so that in this way they can be most lucidly treated for purposes of reference 
and record. 

The West Coast. 

Off the South cape there are several islands, one much larger than the rest. 
Perhaps it is to this island that the name Sonde Klip on the maps of Middelhoven 
(1631) and Blaeu (1662) is intended to apply; but as the island is very low, the 
cliff referred to is more probably that behind the South cape itself on the main 
land. The original name of the cape is Point Lookout, which we find marked on 
Daniel's map (1612). Carolus (1614) calls it Generaels hoech. Goos (1620), an 
important authority for early Dutch names, marks it Kyckuit; but it is Zuydhoeck 
on Caesius' globe (1622). On Vrolicq's map (1631) it is named Premiere pointe ; 
on Middelhoven's (1631) Z. Jiouck ; on Carolus' (1634) and Commelin's (1644) 
P. Monier. Doncker (1655) gives it the two names C. de Kyckuyt and Whales 
backs, the latter being obviously an English appellation (of the islands?), for 
which I cannot find any old English authority. These two names appear together 



on almost all later maps, till finally Giles and Kep (c. 1710) add a third to them, 
and mark the cape Zuyd Kaap, Kaap de Uytkyk, Whales BaJc, de Zuyd West 
HoeJc van Spitsbergen. Point Lookout is clearly the correct historical name. 

Proceeding a short distance up the west coast we come to a little bay, marked 
Freeman bay by Fotherby (1613). 

Inland and stretching north from here are some notable mountains, which cul- 
minate in one prominent peak, visible afar from the sea to the west, south, and 
east. This peak was named Muscovy Company's Mount by Poole in 1610, and is 
marked Moscovit Mont on the Dutch edition of Daniel's map (161.2). The same 
peak is named Mount Edge on the Moscovy Company's map (1625), and the name 
then given lingers long on Dutch maps, wandering away to the east coast, and 
being misspelt Mound Egle and Egde. Possibly, however, Mount Edge may have 
been the hill behind the South cape. Scoresby (1820) calls it Horn Mount and 
Hedgehog Mount, the former from its proximity to Horn sound, the latter from its 
appearance. The name Mount Hedgehog is now applied to a hill on the east 
coast, and may stay there. In modern times the great mountain is generally 
known as Horn Bunds Tind, but its right designation is Muscovy Company's 

Lord Suffolk's point is the name given by Fotherby (1613) to the cape just 
south of the entrance to Horn sound. 

Horn sound itself was named by Poole in 1610, after a reindeer horn found 
there. The Dutch thought the name had some connection with their town Hooru, 
and so spelt it on many of their maps. It is Hoom baye on Csesius' globe (1622), 
but in the text of the Dutch Eemonstrance of 1624 and other documents at that 
time, this becomes Horesont and Oresont, an obvious blunder which reappears 
from time to time to a late date. Horn sound is the correct designation. Within 
the sound are minor bays in the north and south coasts. The south bay was the 
English station, and was called Bowles bay by Fotherby (1613). The Dutch 
called it Goes haven. It may have been the Mottle bay of the English list (State 
Papers, 1658), but probably that was in the north side. 

The cape north of the entrance to Horn sound is named Lord Worcester point 
on Fotherby's map (1613). The hill behind it was probably the Lammas island 
of Hudson (1607), marked on Hondius' map (1611). Early explorers often mis- 
took hills beheld from a distance for islands. 

Fotherby (1613) marks Lord Nottingham's bay at a point behind the Bun 
islands of modern charts. 

Further up comes a great glacier, now known as Torell's glacier. It is the 
Slaad berg first marked by Giles and Rep (c. 1710), and mentioned by Zorgdrager 

The point south of Bunder bay was named Lee point by Poole in 1610, and has 
chanced to retain that designation. 

Doncker, on his historically important map of 1655, marked Bheelant on an 
area south of the modern Recherche bay. He was copied by Valk and Schenk 
(1662), and they in turn by others, who finally misled Scoresby (1820), to whom 
we owe it that modern charts bear that name on a great glacier area which reindeer 
can never have frequented. The origin of the blunder is this. There is a small 
island at the bottom of Recherche bay, known to the Dutch as Rheen Eylandt, 
and so marked on Blaeu's large map (1662). The name strayed away from the 
island, and became wrongly applied. Roebuck-land should be erased from the 

The IVest Coast 349 

Bell point, the cape south of the entrance to Bell sound, was named by Poole, 
in 1610, after the neighbouring bell-shaped hill. It is marked on Daniel's map 
(1612), and often later down to Scoresby's map (1820). 

Bell sound, likewise named from the same hill by Poole (1610), has retained 
its designation after many vicissitudes. Barents noticed it in 1596, and called it 
merely Inwyck (inlet). On Daniel's map (1612) it appears as Belsound. Gerrits 
records (1613) that it was called La baye des Franchoys by the Basques. Carolus 
(1614) calls it Bell sound, but the Dutch often translated the name into Klock 
lay or rivier. That must have been its name on the Dutch chart copied by 
Guerard (1628), who writes it r. de Kloech. It reappears as Klock bay or Bell 
sound for the future, till Giles and Rep (c. 1710) introduced confusion by adding 
to these the wrong designation Willem van Muyens bay. Scoresby (1820) called 
it Bell sound only, and he has been correctly followed by later cartographers. 

Within, Bell sound divides into three main bays. The first, running in to the 
south, was named Schoonhoven by the Dutch skipper Willem van Muyen in 
1612. Fotherby (1613) called it St. Joseph's bay, but the English whalers com- 
monly called it Ice bay (Chambers, 1619 ; Goodlard, 1623). The Dutch sys- 
tematically called it Schoonhoven. Sometimes when Bell sound is mentioned in old 
writings, it is this bay that is meant. The Norwegians called it Sor fjord (Keilhau, 
1827). Scoresby (1820) knew it as Clean bay, a translation of Schoonhoven. The 
French in 1838 gratuitously renamed it Recherche lay. It should be called 
Schoonhoven, and nothing else. The island within it near its south shore, marked 
Training Squadron Island on the Admiralty chart, was known to the Dutch as 
Rheen eylandt (Blaeu, 1662). 

The branch of Bell sound which runs inland to the east-south-east was called 
Lord Elesmere sound by Fotherby (1613), but, like the rest of Fotherby's names, 
this did not " catch on." Whether the English had any name for it is not recorded. 
The Dutch systematically called it Sardam bay from the map of Goos (1620) down 
to that of Giles and Rep (c. 1710). But the last-named editors, who often made 
blunders in naming, added to a small bay in its north coast (the Middle Hook 
haven of the Admiralty chart), the name Van Keulens baaytje, in honour of their 
publisher, G. van Keulen. This name was taken by Scoresby (1820) for that of 
the main sound, which he accordingly called Van Keulens lay. The true old name 
Sardam (Zaandam) lay should be restored, and Van Keulen cove should be the 
name of the anchorage behind Eders island. 

We come next to the cape dividing the two main branches of Bell sound. It 
was named Point Partition by Poole in 1610, and the name was never changed 
till recently, when we find it called Separation point on the Admiralty chart. The 
proper designation should be restored. 

The north branch of Bell sound is almost closed by a long narrow island. Here 
the Hull whalers had their station for many years in the seventeenth century. 
They called it the Rock in Bell sound. The modern Swedish name is Axel island. 

Behind this rock is a large bay named Low sound by Poole in 1610. The name 
is found on the maps of Daniel (1612), the Muscovy Company (1625), R. Dudley 
(1630), and in the text of Blaeu's atlas (1652). The Dutch often misplace the name 
Klok lay on this sound, but Klok bay is a mere translation of Bell sound, and 
therefore belongs outside the Rock. A worse blunder was made when Giles and Rep 
(c. 1710) moved Willem van Muyen's name from the cove to which it belongs. 
Once set adrift, it presently floated over to Low sound, where all modern carto- 
graphers wrongly fix it. Its true old name, Low sound, should be restored to this 

35° Nomenclature 

fine bay. Perhaps Low sound was the original Cold harbour of the Dutch, as 
Caesius' globe (1622) seems to suggest. Eastward, on old charts, Low sound divides 
into two long branches, which look like sounds, but the north branch is really a 
wide dry valley. The south branch was never known by any other name than 
Miclriel Binders lay, which has been recently restored to it. To the north branch 
two names are almost universally simultaneously attached — Gold harbour and 
Ondiepe rivier. Ondiepe rivier is explained on the Giles and Rep map (c. 1710) to 
be " a dry fiord full of bogs, where reindeer are plentiful." The name Cold harbour 
is generally written far up it by map makers who did not know it was dry. The 
true Cold harbour is the shallow bay at its mouth, to which the name has recently 
been restored. 

Just outside the Bock (Axel island), in the north coast of Bell sound, is a cove, 
where the first Dutch interloping skipper anchored in 1612. It was named William 
van Muyden's haven after him. The name is first seen on the map of A. Goos 
(1620), and is hardly ever absent from its right place in any Dutch chart till 
Giles and Rep (c. 1710) displace it. At a later date the Hull men built their store- 
house here, and made this cove one of their stations. We know, from Pellham's 
narrative (1630) and the English list (State Papers, 1658), that the English name 
for it was Bottle cove. This, however, is the historic Muyden or Muyen haven, 
and that name should be restored to it. 

The low cape north of the entrance to Bell sound was named Loivsoundness 
by Poole in 1610. Fotherby (1613) tried to call it Lord Northampton point. On 
the Muscovy Company's map (1625), and often later, it is entitled Lowness, and that 
name is preserved for it by Scoresby (1820), and should be retained. Low sound 
was evidently named from it as Bell sound from Bell point. 

The coast between Bell and Ice sounds is fringed by a number of rocks. Baffin 
(1613) wrote, " In this place are many of these rockes where are great multitudes 
of foule, and they are called Lizets Hands." The name, spelt Lisetts and Lissetts, 
occurs on many maps, from the Muscovy Company's (1625) to Scoresby's (1820), 
and has recently been restored. 

Behind these islands, apparently about halfway between the two sounds, 
Fotherby (1613) marks Bussell's bay, named after the chief English whaling skipper 
of that year. 

The cape south of the entrance to Ice sound was named Shrewsbury point by 
Fotherby (1613). In modern days it has been named Cape Staraschtchin, after 
the famous Russian trapper who lived so many years and died and was buried 
near it. Fotherby's name was never used by any one but himself, and need not 
be revived. 

The great sound north of this point was observed by Barents (1596), who 
describes rather than names it Grooten Inwyck. Hudson (1607) refers to it as the 
Great Indraught. Poole named it Ice sound in 1610, and that has been its chief 
name ever since. Just within the entrance to it is Green harbour. The English 
whalers often applied this name to Ice sound as a whole. This appears from the 
terms of an agreement made in 1614 between the English and Dutch captains, 
Joseph and Monier, who use the two names as equivalent. The same usage con- 
tinued as late as 1654, when we read (State Papers, Domestic, Interreg., vol. 65, 
No. 70, Jan. 1654) that, whereas Bell sound is 15 miles wide and near 30 deep, 
Green harbour is " yet every way a great deale bigger, the length of that harbour 
being never knowne." 

Coming now to the bays within Ice sound, the first in the south coast is Green 

The West Coast 351 

harbour, named by Poole in 1G10. This name appears on almost all charts from 
Daniel's (1612) down. 

Nest to the east comes Coles bay, presumably named from the neighbouring 
reindeer ground, which was known to Pellham (1630) as Coles Park, "a fine place," 
he says, " for venison, and well known to Thomas Ayers." The modern name is 
Coal bay, an obvious blunder, though coal does in fact crop out in the neighbour- 

Adventure bay comes next, named after a whaling vessel.* Its proper old name, 
recorded on the map of Giles and Rep (c. 1710), was Klass Billen bay, named after 
Commandeur Corn. Claesz. Bille, a skipper recorded by Zorgdrager as having been 
active in 1675. His name has been moved across Ice sound to a bay on the other 
side, where it may as well remain. Advent bay is a modern blunder (see p. 202). 

The great eastern extension of Ice sound had no early name. It is first marked 
Sassele bay on a map in a manuscript atlas by Van Keulen (c. 1680), known to 
Muller, but not now discoverable by me. Giles and Rep (c. 1710) call it Sassele 
or Sassen bay, and the latter form of the name, retained by Zorgdrager (1720) and 
Scoresby (1820), is in contemporary usage. 

The cape nowadays known as Gips hook, is vaguely marked H Mlddelland by 
Giles and Rep (c. 1710). 

The most easterly bay in the north coast had no old name. It is now known 
as Klaas Billen bay, a name that originally belonged to the modern Advent or 
Adventure bay. 

North fiord is not marked on any old map. 

The little bay in the north coast of Ice sound, near the entrance, was 
probably named Behouden (Safe) haven by Van Muyen when he took refuge there 
in 1612, or by Poole in 1610. Behouden haven is the regular Dutch name from 
the first. The English also called it Poopy bay or Niches cove, names we learn from 
Baffin (1613). The latter took the form Port nick (Heley, 1617). It is marked 
Niches cove on the Muscovy Company's map (1625). The English list of 1658, 
printed below, still calls it Port Nick, which seems to have been its common 
English name, but Safe haven is at least as old and authentic. 

Proceeding now up the west coast, the next bay we reach was originally 
named Osborne inlet, probably by Poole in 1610. The name appears on Daniel's 
map (1612), and is used by Baffin in 1613, and in the English list of 1658. The 
Dutch always called it S. Jans haven, as we find from Goos' (1620) and almost all 
later maps. The original name has been lost, and might be restored. 

The long island opposite this part of the Spitsbergen coast was called Black 
Point Isle by Poole in 1610, but by 1612, as we learn from Gerrits' pamphlet, the 
English already knew it as Prince Charles island, and the Dutch as Kijn island. 
Kijn was the Dutch supercargo who broke his neck by falling down a hill on it 
in that year. Generally the Dutch called it simply the Foreland, the English 
Prince Charles Foreland (to accompany King James Neivland). Once on a Dutch 
chart (Blaeu's, 1662) it is named H lang Eylandt. 

The south cape of the Foreland was named Black point by Poole in 1610, 
and this name appears on the maps of Daniel (1612) and the Muscovy Company 
(1625). The Dutch called it Kijnness, or Cape Kynnae, after the supercargo who 

* Some old charts accidentally misplace the names hereabouts, and thus this bay 
is sometimes found designated Michel Binders bay. There is no doubt of its correct 

35 2 Nomenclature 

lost his life here in 1612, the year in which doubtless the name was given. 
Numerous Dutch charts give it the double designation, Zuydhoeck Kynnae. They 
knew of the name Black point, but, translating it SwartehoecJc, they applied it to 
the next cape up the Foreland's west coast. Scoresby (1820) correctly moved 
the name Black point back to the south cape, where it ought to be kept. 

The isolated hill behiud it is named Saalberg by Giles and Rep (c. 1710). 

A little way up the west coast, where the Admiralty chart marks Goshavjh 
rock, Valk and Schenk (c. 1662) mark Persch Biff. The name is copied by 
Doncker (after 1684), Van Keulen (1689), Giles and Rep (c. 1610), and Scoresby 
(1820). Seller, in 'The English Pilot,' translating from Doncker, says-' that west 
of the Foreland, H league north of Black point, its south cape, are two islands, 
a cannon-shot apart and the same distance from shore, and that they are bird- 
islands. A mile north of them, he adds, is " a rock of clear white stones," 1| mile 
from shore. 

A point described by Poole as 4 leagues north-west of Black point was named 
by him Cape Cold in 1610. The Dutch invariably insert the name Swartenhoek 
somewhere about here, but with the utmost vagueness. The true Black point was 
the south cape of the Foreland. 

Further north and still on the west shore of the Foreland, the Dutch maps 
from Goos' (1620) downwards almost invariably mark a cape with the name 
C. Siettoe. Muller says that in the manuscript atlas of Van Keulen (c. 1680) the 
name is spelt Setie Taey, and he suggests it may mean " Zet je taai." Scoresby 
and Lamont mention a DeviVs Thumb on the west coast of the Foreland. Was 
this identical with Cape Cold or Cape Siettoe? 

The north cape of the Foreland was named Vogelhoeck by Barents (1596), 
Fair Foreland by Poole (1610) ; both names have been used indifferently down to 
the present day. 

Somewhere round in the east coast of the Foreland, approximately opposite 
Cove Comfortless, was a bay referred to by Fotherby (1613) as Freshwater bay. 
Both bay and name have vanished from modern charts. 

The shoal which almost blocks Foreland sound in about lat. 78° 42' was noticed 
by Barents (1596). It is named the Bar on the Muscovy Company's map (1625), 
and 't Biff on the map of Giles and Rep (c. 1710). 

South of this in the east coast of the Foreland, and almost opposite Osborne 
inlet, is a bay named Seahorse bay by Baffin in 1613. In Dutch it was called 
Zeehonde bay, which Giles and Rep (c. 1710) carelessly misspelt Zeelonde baay, thus 
giving rise to Scoresby's (1820) Zealand bay. Within it, in its north shore, is 
a creek named by Giles and Rep Pieter Winters Baaytje, after Pieter Pietersz. 
Winter, a Dutch skipper of about 1700, mentioned by Zorgdrager (p. 321, 
German edit.). Modern charts wrongly transfer Peter Winter's name to the 
main bay. 

The sound dividing the Foreland from Spitsbergen is conveniently known as 
Foreland sound. Barents in 1596 entered it, and, being turned back by the bar, 
called it Keerwyck, a name which occurs on some of the earliest maps and on 
Csesius' globe (1622). Poole (1610) named it Foul sound. Valk and Schenk 
(c. 1662) and most later Dutch cartographers call it Voorlands fioerd. It is Zorg- 
drager's Hinter-Vorland. The north end of it was the earliest English whaling 
station. Gerrits (1613) says the English set up their tents on both shores. This 
north end of Foreland sound, with the modern Kings and Cross bays, seems at 
first to have been called by them Whales bay, but by 1613 they had definitely 

The West Coast 353 

applied the name Sir Thomas Smith bay to the north end of the sound. That 
name is used by Baffin and other writers, and is found on the maps of Carolus 
(1614) and the Muscovy Company (1625). Giles and Rep (c. lflO), harking back 
to old days, revive for it the name Walvisch bogt, and Scoresby (1820) seems to 
have christened it anew Bay of Birds, from the neighbouring Vogelhoeck. 

Within Sir Thomas Smith bay, io the coast of the main island, is a bay marked 
English lay on modern charts and most old ones. Its original name, marked on 
Daniel's map (1612), was Cove Comfortless. That was still used in the English 
list of 1658. 

The cape forming the eastern termination of the north end of Foreland 
sound is vaguely indicated by Yalk and Schenk (c. 1662), and named Quade hook. 
The name is copied by Doncker (after 1684), by Van Keulen (1689), and by Giles 
and Eep (c 1710), and has been adopted on modern charts. 

We now come to the modern Kings bay. It was named Whales bay by Hudson 
in 1607, and Deer sound by Poole in 1610. The former name is not found in any 
map, but Daniel (1612) marks " Dere sound." The neighbouring bay, as we shall 
see, was called Close cove, and a creek in it Cross road. The Dutch seem to have 
blundered with these names. Goos (1620) misspells the name as Kras sond. Guerard 
(1628), copying some lost Dutch chart, changed Kras into Gars. Caesius' globe 
(1622) calls the bay Engelsche bay, which Vrolicq (1634) translates B. aux Anglois. 
Middelhoven (1634) names it Kar sondt, and most later Dutch maps print the 
name in one or other of the forms Kar, Karr, Kars. Giles and Rep (c. 1710) are 
the first to name it Koninks bay. Zorgdrager (1720) returns to English bay. 
Scoresby (1820) adopts the name Kings bay from Giles and Rep, and attaches to 
its north-eastern harbour the old name Deer sound. Modern charts follow Scoresby's 
usage, which it would be difficult now to change. That the old name Deer 
sound remained the regular English designation is proved by its inclusion in the 
official English list of 1658. 

The bay opening to the north out of Kings bay was named Close cove by Poole 
in 1610. Daniel (1612) marks it Closse sound. The anchorage in its western side 
(now marked Ebeltofts harbour) was named Cross road by Pool, and that became 
the name commonly applied to the whole bay, though the strict meaning of each 
term was not forgotten. The Dutch always call the bay Kruys sond. It is clear 
that the old names should be restored, the main bay being Close bay, and the small 
harbour Cross road. 

The headland named Mitre cape by Scoresby (1820), and C. Mitra on modern 
charts, was called Collins cape by Hudson (1607), and this name should certainly 
be revived. It only appears on a map once, and then misspelt. Hondius (1611) 
marked it " Colnis." 

The Seven Glaciers that descend to the sea between Collins cape and Hamburg 
bay were noticed by the old whalers, who named them the Seven Icebergs, ice- 
berg being the name for what we call a glacier. They are first marked by Giles 
and Rep (c. 1710), and always later. 

The next bay north of them is Hamburg bay. It is first marked by Giles and 
Rep (c. 1710). This was the station of the Hamburg whalers, first occupied by 
them in or shortly after 1642. This may be the Crooke haven of the English list 
of 1658. 

North of it is a smaller bay, not marked on any modern chart except the French 
chart, No. 929. Vrolicq occupied it in 1633, and it is named on his map (1634) 
Port Louis ou Refuge francois. In many Dutch charts, from Valk and Schenk's 

C 23 

354 Nomenclature 

(c. 1662) to Giles and Rep's (c. 1710), it is named Bashes hay. Beechey mentions 
it as the site of a Russian trapper's hut. 

The cape south of the entrance to Magdalena bay has received many names. 
It appears to have been named Knotty point by Poole in 1610. He writes, " When 
the Fayer-forland did bear S. by E., it being 2 miles from me, I saw the land beare 
N.E. by N. about 9 leagues off, the which because it was full of knottie mountains, 
I called Knottie point ; and between Knottie point and Fayer Foreland I saw a 
great bay, which because it was foggy on the sudden, I could not discover." If 
we take this account textually, Knotty point falls at the snout of the midmost of 
the Seven Glaciers, which is clearly impossible. On the other hand, whatever 
latitude of error we grant to Poole, if he was near Fair Foreland, he could not have 
seen land north of Magdalena bay. Supposing him to have been not 2 but 11 miles 
north by west of Fair Foreland, the cape south of the entrance to Magdalena bay 
would have been north-east and north of him, and about 9 leagues away. But if 
he guessed his distance from Fair Foreland so erroneously, what reliance can we 
place on his guess of 9 leagues ? Again, take it that Knotty point is the cape 
south of the entrance to Magdalena bay, where is the great bay " between Knottie 
point and Fayer Foreland, . . . which because it was foggy on the sudden, I could 
not discover " ? Poole did enter Kings bay and the other bays there, so it cannot 
have been them. On the other hand, he did not enter Magdalena hay. I think it 
probable that he named the cape south of the entrance to that bay Knotty point 
when he first saw it ; that fog came on, and he confused this cape with the cape 
north of that bay. We know Gurnerd's Nose to be the south-west point of Danes 
island. Poole presently states that the entrance to Fairhaven is between Gurnerd's 
Nose and Knotty point, and that there is an island {Moss island) in the entrance. 
This makes Knotty point the cape north of Magdalena bay beyond all question, 
and so it is marked on the Muscovy Company's map (1625). On Daniel's map 
Knotty point is vaguely marked, Magdalena bay not being indicated at all. If 
we take Knotty point to be the northern cape, Magdalena bay is clearly the great 
bay which Poole did not discover, and it is the only bay that he can have 
referred to. On the other hand, the English list of 1658, which writes the names 
in order from south to north, introduces Maudlyn sound between Knotty point and 
Fairhaven. The best conclusion to come to is that the true Knotty point is south 
of the entrance to Magdalena bay, but that Poole (before identifying that bay) 
thought it was identical with the point north of it, and so miswrote his account 
of the entrance to Fairhaven. If Fotherby's (1613) " plat " of Fairhaven ever 
turns up, this point will be cleared up, and not before. Carolus (1614) marks it 
Sivartenhoeck. The Dutch in 1632 called the cape in question " den cleynen hoek." 
Muller(N. 0>., p. 434) states that it is named Westhoeck in the manuscript atlas by 
Van Keulen, to which he had access. Giles and Rep (c. 1710) name it Magdalena 
hook, and that name has been in common usage ever since, and had better be 

Magdalena hay was entered by Barents (1596) and named Tusk hay, but the 
name did not catch on. Already it is marked by Carolus (1614) Mart mag. hay, 
by Goos (1620) Magdalenen sond, and by Caesius (1622) S. Maria Magdalene sond 
The name was universally accepted thenceforward. Daines Barrington states that 
the English sailors pronounced it Mac-Helena. Within Magdalena bay on its 
southern shore is a promontory, with an island off its point and an anchorage to the 
east. The island was named Jan Banker island, and is so marked on the manu- 
script map by Van Keulen (Muller's), and on the Giles and Rep map (c. 1710). 

The West Coast 355 

The anchorage was named Trinity harbour by Fotherby (1614). Scoresby (1820) 
marks it John Duncan's Bight ; it is the English Cove of modern charts. Fotherby's 
name should be revived. 

A mountain on the promontory between Magdalena bay and Fairhaven is named 
the Headless Hog (Varken sonder hooft) by Giles and Kep (c. 1710). Muller 
(N. Co., p. 434) says it is also so marked in the Van Keulen manuscript atlas 
(c. 1680-90). 

The cape north of Magdalena bay has no name on modern charts. As it was 
marked Knotty point on the Muscovy Company's map (1625), and as Poole 
certainly once referred to it by that name, it should, I think, be so called once more. 
We thus come in due sequence to the famous Fairhaven, which Poole named 
in 1610. " Between Knotty point," he writes, " and Gurnard's Nose (Danes island) 
is a haven, in the entrance whereof is an island (Moss island). This haven goeth 
out on the north-west side of Gurnard's Nose. I named this haven the Fair 
Haven? The phrase about " going out " is obscure, but clearly Poole means that 
you come in at one end of the haven and go out at the other, and that it lies 
between an island and the mainland. Fairhaven is, in fact, the sound between Danes 
island and the mainland, and more particularly the inner part of it within Moss 
island. Fotherby in 1614 drew a "plat" of it, which Purchas unfortunately did 
not publish. Fairhaven is marked on the following maps : Daniel (1612), Carolus 
(1614), Goos (1620), Guerard (1628), Vrolicq (1634), Carolus (1634), Colom (1648). 
Carolus (1614) misspells it Feer-haven, and is followed by Goos. Guerard makes 
matters worse by calling it b.ferer. Carolus later (1634) writes it Beerhaven, and 
is copied by Colom. Thus arises the Beere bay of Valk and Schenk (c. 1662) and 
their copyists, Doncker (after 1684) and Van Keulen (1689). Other Dutch map- 
makers name it English bay or the English harbour. It is so referred to by Vander 
Brugge (1634), and on most Dutch maps after that date. At first the east end 
of the sound is meant, but the name gradually drifts away to the south-east 
corner of Mauritius bay, where it has no sense. The entrance to the sound from 
the west is frequently called South gat, first, I believe, on Doncker's map (1655). 
Sometimes the names South gat and English bay are written together, as on 
Doncker's local map (1655). The probable site of the English whaling-settlement 
was at the south-east corner of Danes island. 

That island is first named Banes island on Doncker's map (1655), and generally 
later. It has not been changed. The south-west point of the island was called 
Gur nerd's Nose by the English, and Engelsche Uytkyk, or the English Outlook, by 
the Dutch. Poole, as we have seen, named it Gurnerd's Nose in 1610. 

The well-marked bay in the west coast of Danes island was always called 
Robbe bay on Dutch maps from Middelhoven's (1634) to that of Giles and Rep 
(c. 1710). Vrolicq (1634) marks it Port St. Pierre, apellepar lesdanois Copenhavre 
baie et par les holandois a pell e' Robes baie. Giles and Rep are the first to add the 
alternative name Banes bay, which was copied by Zorgdrager (1720) and Scoresby 
(1820). The modern Norwegian name is Kobbe bay, a mere translation for Robbe 
bay, which is the form that should be maintained. 

In the north coast of Danes island is a small bay that has been much 
frequented. The Smeerenburg Dutch called it Houcker bay. Here in 1634 the 
Cookery of Harlingen was set up, there being no room at Smeerenburg for more 
cookeries. Behind the Cookery of Harlingen, Martens (1671) says there was 
" running water." It is marked " vars water " by Giles and Rep (c. 1710). On 
the shore of this bay Mr. Arnold Pike built his hut, and near it Andree set up his 





balloon-house. The bay was renamed Virgo bay after Andree's steamer, but it 
should be called Eoucher bay as of old. 

Hereabouts Zorgdrager (1720) vaguely marks Zetje Fau, apparently the name 
of the north-west cape of Danes island, and the counterpart of Zet je taai. 

The sound between Danes and Amsterdam islands was confusedly named in 
old days. Middelhoven (1634) names it Middel gat lucidly enough, and that 
name occurs on most Dutch maps, but it was not commonly used by the Smeeren- 
burg whalers themselves. Looking at this stretch of water from the point of view 
of Smeerenburg, they called it indifferently South bay and West bay. The name 
Banes gat is of modern introduction. Middle gat is the historically correct 

Within this sound, between Smeerenburg and Houcker bay, is an island called 
Deadmans Island, frequently referred to in the old writings. On Doncker's local 
chart (1655) it is marked 2 miles further east. A little west of it Doncker marks 
another island " Eyl daer 't Schip de Oliphant op geseten heeft." He also marks 
a number of other islands which do not seem to exist. 

Amsterdam island was landed on by Barents (1596), but not specially named. 
He called this group of islands Oebroocken Land, and that name is found on the 
earliest maps. As soon as the Dutch settled there the island no doubt received 
the name, which has adhered to it ever since. It is found in many early documents, 
but not, I think, on any map before Doncker's (1655). 

Along the curved south shore of the flat spit of land projecting at the 
south-east corner of Amsterdam island Smeerenburg was built, with its warehouses 
and cookeries. The slightly curved bay in front of it was called Smeeren bay. 
The arrangement of the warehouses from east to west was in the following order : 
Amsterdam, Middelburg, Flushing, Danes, Delft, and Hoorn. Five of these names 
are marked on Doncker's local map (1655) and others copied from it. Vander 
Brugge's journal (1634) contains names of several points in the neighbourhood. 
Thus, on the island, were the north, south, and west Salaet hills, where scurvy- 
grass grew. The three-topped snow-mountain in which the island culminates is 
named by Zorgdrager (1720) Marri met de Brosten, which Muller says should be 
Moer (mother) met de borst. It is also mentioned by Martens (1671). 

The conical hill at the west extremity of Amsterdam island was called tlie Beehive. 
Its name is sometimes by error ascribed to the island off the north point. That 
was the BeviTs island. The north point was named Hakluyt headland by Hudson 
in 1607, and that name appears on the maps of Hondius (1611) and the Muscovy 
Company (1625). It has fortunately survived. Daniel (1612) marks it Ysse caep. 
The Dutch seem to have known it as Quade hoek or Buyvels hoeh, both names 
appearing together on the maps of Giles and Rep (c. 1710) and Zorgdrager (1720). 
The great bay bounded on the west by Amsterdam and Danes islands, and on 
the east and south by the mainland, was named as a whole Butch bay or Mauritius 
bay. Eollandsche bay is first marked by Carolus (1614). The name Mauritius bay 
does not seem to appear on any map before Doncker's local map (1655), but it is 
of early and frequent occurrence in Dutch official documents, and is to be regarded 
as the best name for the bay. It was never known as Smeerenburg, which modern 
map-makers have applied to it quite erroneously. Smeerenburg was a settlement, 
not a bay. The Dutch, who went there in great numbers, employed many names 
for minor localities which are mostly forgotten. Zorgdrager (1720) explains that 
in his time Mauritius bay was reckoned from Smeerenburg southwards North of 
Smeerenburg the sound was called North bay or gat. 





The North Coast 357 

Within Mauritius bay in its east coast, Valk and Schenk (c. 1662), and after 
them Doncker (after 1684) and Van Keulen (1689), mark a cove Slaad bay south 
of the two north glaciers. This is doubtless the bay into which the third glacier 
empties, opposite the middle of Danes island. The same authorities mark Ys hoek 
south of it, and further south Beere bay by mistake for Fairhaven, as above 
explained. Giles and Eep mark a strange Zuyd Bay rivier, apparently flowing 
down north-westward from far inland, and emptying itself approximately into 
Slaad bay. It is made to rise in a lak, which Zorgdrager depicts surrounded by 

Van Keulen's manuscript atlas (c. 1680-90), Giles and Rep's map (c. 1710), and 
Zorgdrager's map (1720) mark the incomprehensible name Makelyk Oud at three 
points in Mauritius bay. It is also mentioned in Zorgdrager's text. The position 
of these points is as doubtful as the meaning of the name, which the best Dutch 
scholars are unable to explain. One point may be the north-west point of Spits- 
bergen. The second, named also according to Muller Krayennest, is further south 
in the east coast of the bay. The third, marked by Giles and Rep (c. 1710) " 3rd or 
Niew Makkelyk Oud,'" is in the south coast of Fairhaven. 

The North bay or gat, as above explained, is the sound east of Amsterdam 
island by which Mauritius bay was entered from the north. It is mentioned by 
Vander Brugge, and first marked on a map by Doncker (1655). 

The North Coast. 

Having completed our examination of the west coast, we now come to the 
north coast and the islands lying off it. It was referred to by the old Dutch 
whalers as Orn den Oost, according to Zorgdrager. 

The north-west cape was named Lage hoeck (Low point) by the Dutch, and is 
found so designated on most Dutch maps from Doncker's (1655) downward. Giles 
and Rep (c. 1710) wrote somewhere near it the name Wagepat, probably a mistake 
for Vlacke point, which was a name of the next cape to the east. The modern 
name Foul point has no historical authority. Low point is correct. 

The bay east of Low point was called Vogel bay by the early whalers. It is so 
marked by Goos (1620), and B. aux oiseaux by Guerard (1628). Carolus (1634) 
and Commelin (1642) call it Be groote Vogel baij. As the Zeelanders used it for 
their first whaling station, it was also called Zeeland bay, and that is the name 
applied to it in Van der Brugge's Journal (1634). The group of islands in it 
was called Archipelago, a name which occurs with various spellings in Van der 
Brugge's 'Journal' (1634) and on the maps of Valk and Schenk (c. 1662), and his 
successive copyists down to Zorgdrager (1720). Blaeu (1662) alone names it 
Baij met de Eylanden and Somer baij. The modern English name Foul bay is 
evidently a mistake for Fowl (Vogel) bay, which is what we ought to call it. 

The coast between Fowl bay and the next bay to the east runs out to at least 
three capes. One of these, probably the one most to the west, is referred to by 
Van der Brugge (1634) as Albastert honck. 

Off this coast lie four islands, now known as Vogel Sang, Cloven Cliff, and the 
Inner and Outer Nonvays. The haven behind them is wrongly named Fairhaven 
on modern charts. Fairhaven was more than 10 miles further south. 

Vogel Sang is called Cape Ban-en on the Muscovy Company's map (1625). 
The Dutch always knew it by the name it correctly retains. The first map-maker 
to mark it was Doncker (1655). 



Cloven Cliff is marked De Reus (the Giant) on Carolus' map (1614), Saddle 
Island on that of the Muscovy Company (1625). Doncker is the first to put it 
on his map (1655) as H Eyland met de Kloof. Valk and Schenk (c. 1662) call it 
Klip met de Kloof, Martens (1671) calls it the Clifted Sock. It becomes Kloof de Clip 
on the map of Giles and Eep (c. 1710), and finally Cloven Cliff on Scoresby's (1820). 
The two Norway islands lie north and south of one another. As the old charts 
generally place them east and west, it is impossible to tell from them to which 
island a particular name should be attached. The names themselves, however, 
help us. One of them is the Zeeusche Uytkyk, or Zeeland Lookout. This must 
have been the Outer Norway island, whose east point still retains the name. 
Various names, such as Bear island (Muscovy Company's map, 1625) and Goose 
island (Doncker, 1655), may most probably be assigned to the Inner Norway 
island, but not with much assurance. 

Returning again to the mainland, the next point that calls for attention is the 
cape west of the entrance to Red bay. Fox point is its true English name, as we 
learn from the Muscovy Company's map (1625). The name was still in use in 
1658, when the English official list was drawn up. The Dutch called it Vlacke 
point, a name first found on Doncker's map (1655). A shoal near this cape is 
mentioned by Zorgdrager (1720) under the name Rift van de Uytkyk. 

Red bay, or more accurately Red-cliff sound, was named by Fotherby in 1614. 
The Dutch in the same year named it Monier lay after Antonie Monier, commissary- 
general of their fleet in 1614. Monier bay is found on almost all Dutch maps 
from Goos (1620) downward. One or two call it Roo bay, not in memory of the 
English name, but by mistake for the neighbouring Red beach. Carolus (1634), 
and after him Commelin (1642), name it S. Laurens bay. In the same year (1634) 
Vrolicq calls it Vausques bay. His map indeed is so vague that Fowl bay would 
suit as well, so far as position is concerned, but the bay itself, with its deep double 
head, is clearly indicated. Moreover, the Dutch would not have allowed the 
Basques in 1633 to fish in Fowl bay, which was the Zeelanders' station ; so that 
Red-cliff sound must have been Vrolicq's Basques bay. The fact that the cape 
east of the entrance was named Biscayer's hook confirms this attribution. 

The bottom part of Red-cliff sound is divided by a cape into two smaller bays. 
Fotherby named the cape Point Deceit. Blaeu's map (1662) marks the cove west 
of it Ayer bay, and the east cove Beeren, for Bear bay. A somewhat different position 
for Ayer bay is, however, implied by the text of Doncker's atlas (edit, of 1655). 

The point at the entrance of Redcliff sound, on the east, is Point Welcome 
(though in modern charts that name has been displaced). Fotherby named it in 
1614. Returning from the east across Broad bay, he writes, " we came over the 
bay to Point Welcome, which I so named because it is a place where wee often 
times rested when wee went forth in our shallops." It is so marked in the Mus- 
covy Company's map (1625). Blaeu (1662) by mistake names it De Vlacke punt 
or De Lange hoeck. The proper Dutch name for it was Biscayers' hook. Zorg- 
drager makes its identity plain. He describes it as " a little east of the Zeeusche 
Uytkyk ... a long pointed strip of land stretching into the sea with good 
anchorage near it — still known as Biscayers' Hook." 

The wide shallow bay between this point and the next cape to the east was 
named Broad bay by Fotherby in 1614. Vrolicq (1634) calls it B. Diric. Fotherby 
named the coast of it Red beach, which is marked on the Muscovy Company's map 
(1625). The Dutch called the land within this bay Rhenevelt, and it was here 
they came from Smeerenburg to hunt reindeer. The name occurs on many maps. 

The North Coast 359 

They called the bay Boo or Roode bay, names which occur on the maps of Doncker 
(1655), Valk and Schenk (c. 1662), and many more. Colom (c. 1662) alone calls 
it Benefelfs bay. Martens (1671) says that on the Rhenevelt " there is a hill that 
looketh like fire," whatever that may mean. Giles and Rep (c. 1710) mark hills 
in uncertain positions behind Redbeach. They are named Booberg, Trourenberg, 
Berg op Beenveld. They name the east side of this peninsula Agter Beene Veld. 
The east point of Redbeach was named Bedbeach point by Fotherby (1614). It is 
wrongly marked Welcome point on modern charts. 

Englishmen ought to call the bay, known as Liefde bay to the Dutch, by its 
proper English designation Wiche sound. So Fotherby named it in 1614, and so 
it is marked in the Muscovy Company's map (1625). It does not appear on any 
Dutch map till Doncker's (1655). He names it simply Oostwyck. Blaeu (1662) 
calls it Oostinivyk. Yalk and Schenk (c. 1662) make a confusion by calling it 
Oosterwyk or Wijde bay, a mixture of names copied by Doncker (after 1484) and 
Van Keulen (1689). Martens (1671) already knew it as Liefde lay, but Giles 
and Rep (c. 1710) were the first so to mark it. Within this bay in its east coast 
is a cove, named Muy shaven on Blaeu's map (1662). Giles and Rep (c. 1710) call 
it Liefde Baytje. 

Moffen island, some 10 miles north of the mouth of Wiche sound, is first 
marked by Doncker (1655), and thenceforward on almost all maps. Colom (c. 1662) 
alone entitles it Walrus eylandt, and misplaces it considerably. 

The cape east of the entrance to Wiche sound was named Castlins point by 
Fotherby (1614) and on the Muscovy Company's map (1625). The Dutch had 
several names for it — Cruwen hoeck (Doncker, 1655), Swarte hoeck (Blaeu, 1662), 
Dorren hoeck (Colom, c. 1662), Grawen hoeck or Flacke point (Valk and Schenk, 
c. 1662 ; Doncker, after 1684 ; Van Keulen, 1689), Derre hoek (Giles and Rep, 
c. 1710; Zorgdrager, 1720). The old name Castlins point should be restored on 
English charts. 

By whom the long deep sound that follows, as we proceed east, was named, we 
cannot say, but Fotherby, writing in 1614, states, "This sound is that which 
formerly had, and still retaineth, the name of Sir Thomas Smith's inlet" and so it 
is marked in the Muscovy Company's map (1625). The Dutch seem always to 
have called it Wyde bay, but their cartographers sometimes confuse it with neigh- 
bouring sounds, and write on it the erroneous names Oosterwyk or Way-gat. The 
proper English name might be revived, but is rather cumbersome. 

A cove in the west side of Wyde bay, near the entrance, is named Jan 
Tennisen's bay by Giles and Rep (c. 1710) and Zorgdrager (1720). The same maps 
also mark four reefs projecting from the west shore of the sound. On the east 
shore they mark Sand Duynen a little south of the three glaciers. Doncker (after 
1684) is the first to mark the great glacier at the south end of the east fiord. 

Aldert Dirkses bay was named after the Dutch skipper Albert Dirskensz. It 
was first marked in Van Keulen's manuscript atlas (c. 1680-90), which Giles and 
Rep (c. 1710) followed. North of its entrance is Steyle hoek, marked by Van 
Keulen (1689). Further up comes Bangen hoek, marked by Colom (c. 1662) and 
Valk and Schenk (c. 1662) in North-East Land by mistake; correctly placed by 
Van Keulen (1689) and in later maps. 

Just north of Bangen hook is Halfmoon lay, which modern charts call Mossel 
bay. It is first marked by Goos (1666), and frequently later. Martens (1671) 
knew of it as Muscle harlour or Deer lay. Giles and Rep (c. 1710) are the first 
to name it Halfmoon or Mossel bay. Mossel may be a mistake for Mussel, or it 



may be the name of some Dutch skipper. There is a Mossel bay in Cape Colony, 
and another in Magellan Strait.* Gerrits (1613) mentions one Mossel as Van 
Muyden's second in command in 1612, but corrects the statement in an erratum. 
The right name is beyond question Hal/moon hay. 

The land east of Wyde bay is erroneously named H Zuyd Ooster Landt by 
Doncker (1655) and Van Loon (1661). That was the first Dutch appellation for 
what is now called North-East land. 

The important cape between Wyde bay and Hinlopen strait was the English 
Point Desire, probably so named by Marmaduke of Hull in 1612.t It is so marked 
on the Muscovy Company's map (1625), though rather vaguely as to position. 
The Dutch seem to have had several names for it. Blaeu (1662) calls it Langenes. 
Colom (c. 1662) marks it twice over, once as Flacke point and once as Verlegen 
hoeck. Valk and Schenk (c. 1662) and Doncker (after 1484) are in doubt, and 
name it Grawen hoeck or Flacke point. Van Keulen (1689) calls it Verlegen hook, 
Giles and Rep (c. 1710) Vlakke or Verlegen hoek, Zorgdrager (1720) Vlackehoek, 
Scoresby (1820) Verlegen Hook. The true name Point Desire should be re-estab- 
lished on English charts in place of the Verlegen Hook to which they now give 

The East Coast. 

The north end of Hinlopen strait was doubtless known many years before it 
was marked on the maps, but the map-makers for some time confused Wyde bay 
with it, marking that Way-gat, or indicating as east of Hinlopen strait the land 
which is actually east of Wyde bay, thus really marking Wyde bay twice over, on 
a small and larger scale, when they intended to mark Hinlopen strait beyond 
Wyde bay. Colom's map (about 1662) is thus explained. The strait is believed 
to derive its name from Thymen Jacobsz. Hinlopen, a director of the Dutch Com- 
pany in 1617 and later. This would indicate its relatively early discovery. The 
name De Straet van Hinloopen first appears on Blaeu's map (1662), whilst Colom, 
as above stated, also confusedly marks it at the same time (c. 1662), but names it 
Waygat, and so do Valk and Schenk (c. 1662). The two names Hinlopen Strait 
and Waygat were used interchangeably thenceforward down to Scoresby's day 
(1820) and later. The fact that Blaeu (1662) names it Straet proves that his 
informant, at least, knew that it was not merely a deep bay. Doncker (1663) 
first marks it and some of its side bays with an approach to general truth of form. 
Yet Martens in 1771 writes, " It is unknown whether the haven of this Weigatt 
(blow-hole) goeth through the country or no." 

The first creek in the west coast of the strait, a little south of Point Desire, is 
named, on the large and small maps of Giles and Rep (c. 1710), Willem Tolks or 
Tollckx haaytje. I have a note that the name is also spelt Volckx, but have lost 
the reference. The creek is not marked on modern charts. 

Near it, and likewise not marked on our charts, is an island (or rocks), between 
Point Desire and Treurenburg bay, first indicated as Piff by Blaeu (1662), and 

* Marked on the Mercator-Hondius map of 1633 between Port Famine and Cape 
Froward. The Mossel bay in Cape Colony was named in 1601 by the Dutch from the 
mussels they found there. 

t See the Hakluyt Society's " Baffin," p. 96, and above, p. 50. 

The East Coast 361 

later marked Luysen Eyland by Doncker (after 1684) and his copyists. Doncker, 
in 1663, knew it by name, but marked it by mistake in the mouth of Wyde bay. 

Treureriburg bay, made famous by Parry's Arctic expedition, may have derived 
its name from the catastrophe which happened to the Dutch whalers there in 
1693. Before that date it is systematically named Bear bay (Beere bay) on almost 
every Dutch map from 1662 downward. Treureriburg first appears on the Giles 
and Bep map (c. 1710) as the name of a hill west of the bay, the bay itself having 
no name. Afterwards we find it called Treureriburg or Sorge bay. 

Parrot hook, named after " the diving parrot or puffin," is first clearly marked 
by Giles and Bep (c. 1710) as a point north of the great glacier whose front fills 
so long a stretch of coast north of Lomme bay. It is in approximately 79° 53' 
N. lat. 

With Lomme bay we reach a region where the nomenclature is very confused. 
Evidently knowledge of the topography of Hinlopen strait was gained partly by 
ships sailing down from the north and partly by others sailing up from the south. 
The former knew Lomme bay ; the latter became familiar with Unicorn bay. The 
third bay between them was mistaken in each case for the other bay to north or 
south, so that on the early charts only two bays are marked. Thus both Treuren- 
burg and Unicorn bays are sometimes marked Lomme bay by mistake. The 
three bays were not all plainly marked together till on the Giles and Bep maps 
(c. 1710), and it is possible that Giles in 1707 was actually the first skipper to sail 
in at one end of Hinlopen strait and out at the other, and thus to behold the three 
bays in succession. Lomme bay owes its name to part of this long-continued 
misunderstanding. It is derived from Lommeberg. The true Lommeberg was 
a hill south of Unicorn bay — that is to say, it stood at the north-east corner of 
Barents island. But when Unicorn bay was confused with Lomme bay, Lommeberg 
was moved north with it, and the name was applied to the modern Lovens mount. 
So confused were Giles and Bep about Lommeberg that they mark it three times 
over, north and south of Lomme bay and south of Unicorn bay. Puzzled likewise 
about the bays, they call Lomme bay "Lomme bay or Beere bay," and they call 
Unicorn bay "Lome bay or the Unicorn's bay." 

Duym or Thumb point is marked by Giles and Bep (c. 1710) as a cape about 
12 miles south-east of the entrance to Lomme bay, and anchorages are marked 
north and south of it. It is north of the series of glaciers descending to the sea 
south of Lomme bay. Modern charts mark Tlxumb point as the east extremity 
of William island. It should be much further north. About here Blaeu (1662) 
vaguely marks a Vlacke hoeck. 

Unicorn bay, at the east entrance to Heley sound, was named after a ship. It 
is marked by Doncker (1663) as H Schip d'Eenhoorn baij. Thenceforward the 
name was marked on many maps. 

Heley sound, seen and named in 1617 after William Heley, the English 
supercargo, was evidently then known or suspected to be a strait. The fact was 
presently forgotten, though about 1662 there seems to have been a suspicion for 
a short time that it might be the south end of Hinlopen strait (vide Blaeu's map). 
Not till about 1860 was the truth about it known. Yet Helies or Helis sound was 
marked upon most maps, from the Muscovy Company's (1625) down to Scoresby's 
(1820), always as a creek leading north out of the head of Wybe Jans water. 
Nineteenth-century writers (Lamont, for instance) sometimes call it Hell sound. 
Poor Heley ! 

Passing through Heley sound, we come to the great bay or arm of the sea lying 



between Spitsbergen on the one hand and Barents and Edge islands on the other. 
AVhether its English discoverers gave it a name we cannot say. Was this the 
Pudding lay or Hunting lay named in the English list of 1658 ? The Dutch 
always knew it as Wyle Jans water, after the Friesland skipper Wybe Jansz. van 
Stavoren. The name first appears on G-oos' map (1620). We find it written by 
Guerard (1628) Destroict de Jean Suatre. Carolus (1634) and many others after 
him call it Wyles gat. The Eussian Trappers' name for it was Titowa Quia. 
It is called Stor fiord by modern Scandinavians. 

No old charts show the eastward bend of the upper part of Wybes Jans water, 
but, as above remarked, make it end off square, with Heley sound running north 
out of it. To right and left of the entrance to Heley sound all charts, from the 
Muscovy Company's (1625) down to Scoresby's (1820), mark two islands ; and 
these, after Valk and Schenk (c. 1662), are named — the west island Walrus 
island, the east island Rolle or Seal island. It is impossible to identify these 
two islands now. Some think that at least one of them may be enveloped by the 
Negri glacier. But, regard being had to their position relative to Heley sound on 
the Muscovy Company's map, and to the fact that the English explorers of 1617 
doubtless passed between them on their way to Heley sound, they are most 
probably identical with the Lamont and Angel islands of modern charts. 

Two bays are marked near together on the Muscovy Company's map (1625) 
at the north-west corner of Wybe Jans water. They correspond with the bays 
north and south of the Negri glacier. On the Muscovy Company's map the north 
bay is named Wiches sound, the south bay Wiches lay. Wiches sound was always 
called Bear gat (Beere gadt) by the Dutch after Valk and Schenk (1662) had 
written that name down. That name should replace the Johnston lay of modern 
charts. The Dutch confused the name of Wiches bay, writing it Wliales Wiches 
lay (Doncker, 1655 and later) or Whales Withes lay, but modern charts preserve 
it correctly. 

The Mohn lay of modern charts should be called by its old name Keer Weer, 
which Valk and Schenk (1662) first wrote down and later Dutch charts generally 

The point north of Agardh lay is marked Fox nose on the Muscovy Company's 
map (1625), and is still known as Fox ness. 

Foul sound is the almost universal name on old charts, from the Muscovy 
Company's (1625) down to Scoresby's (1820), for the bay now known as Agardh 
lay. Blaeu (1662) calls it Baij met Vuijlerdsen. There are too many " Foul " 
bays and sounds in Spitsbergen, so that the Swedes did well to rename this one. 

Whales head, the cape just north of Whales bay, was so named on the Muscovy 
Company's map (1625), and no other name has ever been given to it. 

Whales lay is marked on the Muscovy Company's map (1625), but not named. 
It is also indicated, unnamed, by Middlehoven (1634) and Blaeu (1662). The 
latter adds two glaciers north of it. The name first appears on modern charts, 
upon what authority I cannot discover. 

A wreck, an island, or a bay in the south part of the east coast, a little north 
of the south cape, is named on Blaeu's map (1662) f Hoi van een Schip. 

We have thus completed the circuit of the coast of the main island, and returned 
to Cape Lookout at its south extremity, where we started. We have next to 
examine the names round the coasts of the other islands. 

Barents and Edge Islands 363 

Barents Island. 

This was not known to be an island, and therefore not named before the middle 
( f the nineteenth century. Giles and Rep (c. 1710) by a blunder wrote Zuyd 
Oosfer Land on the place it occupies, and the name was repeated by Zorgdrager 
(1720) and Scoresby (1820). 

Lommenberg, as above stated, is the hill at the north-east corner of Barents 
island. It was first marked by Doncker (1663), and afterwards by Goos (1666), 
Van Keulen (1689), and others. 

Cape Barhham, at the south-west corner of the island, is named on the Muscovy 
Company's map, and the name has never been changed, though sometimes misspelt 
Bar cam. 

The bay in the west coast of Barents island is first marked Vosse bay by Valk 
and Schenk (1662), and the name has since retained its place on the map. 

Freeman Strait. 

Alderman Freeman's inlet was the name given in 1616 or 1617 to the sound 
separating Barents and Edge islands. It is so marked on the Muscovy Company's 
map (1625). Sir E. Dudley (1630) calls it G. di Bar sum (for Barcam). The Dutch 
maps, from Valk and Schenk's (1662) downward, systematically name it Walter 
nii/men's fiord. Modern charts preserve both names, but Freeman strait should 
have the precedence. Some little islands at its west mouth are named Sir Thomas 
Smith's islands. Of all the Spitsbergen sites named after this leader of the 
Muscovy Company, this is the only one from which his name has not been 

Edge Island. 

Its south coast was first rudely marked by Carolus in 1614. He misnamed it 
Morfyn, meaning thereby Marsyn, by mistake for Matsyn. Carolus thought that 
the land he saw was Willoughby's Matsyn, really in Novaja Zerolja, but misplaced 
by Hondius (1611). The island was rediscovered and named Edge island in 1616. 
It is marked Edges Hand on the Muscovy Company's map (1625), Beare Hand 
by Sir R. Dudley (1630). In the Dutch Company's charter of 1634 it is called 
Staaten Land. Valk and Schenk (1662) name it Whales Wiches Landt by some 
freak. Giles and Rep (c. 1710) are responsible for introducing a new confusion by 
naming it Stans Voorland, a blunder perpetuated by Zorgdrager (1720) and the 
Scandinavians. The real Stone Foreland will be presently explained. The Russian 
trappers called this island Maloy Brun. 

Lee Foreland ; Stone Foreland. — The Muscovy Company's explorers in 1616 
and 1617 only saw the west part of Edge island, and its north and south coasts 
trending away to the eastward. They named the north coast Zee Foreland, the 
south coast Stone Foreland. We shall consider the latter name presently. On 
the Muscovy Company's map (1625) Cape Blank is marked as the west extremity 
of Lee Foreland, and this meaning of the names seems to have been preserved 
down to about 1662, as is very clearly shown on Colom's map (c. 1662). Then the 
names get adrift, first on Valk and Schenk's map (1662). At last, on Doncker's 
map (after 1684), Lee Foreland becomes definitely the cape named C. Lee on 
modern charts, whilst C. BlanJco, drifting south, attached itself to the first cape it 



came to. This arrangement was stereotyped by Van Keulen (1689) and has since 
been maintained. 

Duke's cove was the name of a bay in the west coast of Edge island. It is 
written in the form Duckes Coue on Sir R. Dudley's map (1630), which contains 
several features in the west coast of Edge island that seem to be derived from 
English sources and yet are not found on the Muscovy Company's map (1625). It 
follows that they must have been taken from the Hull men's discoveries. Duckes 
Cove is included in the English official list of 1658. The name Duke's cove was 
perhaps derived from Marniaduke of Hull, the chief explorer and early frequenter 
of these parts. He is often referred to as Duke. Probably the English Duckes 
Cove became Dusko in Dutch mouths. That name first appears on Doncker's map 
(1663), applied to a point on the west coast of Edge island, and frequently after- 
wards. Scoresby (1820) is the first to misspell it Disco. The real Spitsbergen 
Disco was further east. Duke's cove may have been the Disco bay or the Gotha 
cove of modern charts. According to Dudley's map (1630), it was sheltered by an 
island and a reef. The Hunting bay of the English official list of 1657 was probably 
the modern Disco bay. 

The south-west extension of Edge island is split into two great promontories by 
Decrowe sound. These promontories end in the capes Whales point and Negro 
point. They were first rudely depicted by Carolus (1614) and named Onbekende 
Kust and Morfyn respectively. The Muscovy Company's map (1625) first shows 
them with a rough veracity, and gives them the names they have tince retained, 
Whales head and Negro point. Early Dutch charts show them far less truthfully, 
separating them widely, the west point being nameless, the other named Sivarte- 
hoeck. Whales head is named Athale head by Sir E. Dudley (1630). The first 
Dutch map on which Whales head is marked is Doncker's (1655), after which it is 
commonly found. 

Deicrowe's sound was named, in 1616, after Benjamin Decrowe, who, in 1610 
and afterwards, was a leading man in the Muscovy Company. The name is marked 
on the Muscovy Company's map (1625). On Sir R. Dudley's (1630) the bay is 
called O. Athale. Middelhoven (1634) names it Londen bay. Doncker (1655) is 
the first Dutch map-maker to mark it Deicrowe's sound, adding the alternative 
name Deeve bay. The two names have lingered on together ever since, sometimes 
tending to separate, and then coming together once more. 

A cove near the mouth of Deicrowe's sound, a little north of Negro point, 
is named Bear haven on the Muscovy Company's map (1625). It is the Barem bay 
of modern charts. 

Negro point was named by the English in 1616. The Dutch translated it 
Swarthoeck, and that name already appears on Goos' map (1620), and generally 
thenceforward. Middelhaven (1634) alone records against it the designation Dictus 
point, whatever that may mean. 

Blaeu (1662) marks St. Jacob bay opposite St. Jacob island. If that island 
was, as it appears to have been, Halfmoon island, the bay in question must have 
been the same as the modern Diana bay. But as Blaeu marks his bay east of the 
glacier, which he calls De groote Tsbergh, and as the great King John glacier is the 
only one that reaches the sea hereabouts, Blaeu's St. Jacob bay would seem to have 
been away to the eastward, approximately where it is marked on modern charts. 

Stone Foreland, as already stated in connection with Lee Foreland, is really 
the eastward extension of the south-east coast as seen from the south-west. It is 
marked on the Muscovy Company's map (1625) and thenceforward, the Dutch 

North-East Land 365 

spelling it Stans Voorland. The name is now correctly applied to the south-east 
cape, as Lee Foreland should be applied to the north-east cape. Zorgdrager (1720) 
was the first to move the name away from the coast and apply it to Edge island as 
a whole, thus misleading the Scandinavians. 

Giles and Rep (c. 1710) mark Disco just south of the east cape of Edge island. 
A little south-west of it they mark Visschery van Walvisschen. Zorgdrager (1720), 
and Scoresby (1820), in text and maps, repeat these indications. 

Round the south of Edge island are a number of smaller islands, which may be 
the Plurime Insille identified with Willoughby's Matsyn by Hondius (1611). 
They are first distinctly marked by Carolus (1614), who indicates a shoal to the 
east of one, perhaps intended for Halfmoon island or even Hope island. Some 
Dutch charts give names to some of these islands, but only Hal/moon island can 
be identified with reasonable certainty. It is the Abbots I. of the Muscovy 
Company's map (1625), the St. Jacob of Blaeu (1662). Doncker (1663) first marks 
it Halvemaens eyl., and his example was commonly followed by later map-makers. 
Valk and Schenk (1662) were the first to indicate a great vague mass of islands 
stretching round the coast, which they and most later map-makers describe as 
Laeg gebroJcen Land. I think it was Scoresby who replaced this description by 
the popular name the Thousand islands — a name in no wise corresponding with 
facts. They appear to be the Hopeless islands of Sir R. Dudley's map (1630). 

The Eyk Yse islands, discovered by the Dutch skipper of that name in 1640, 
were confused by Scoresby with Wiche islands. Doncker (1663) is the first to 
mark them, which shows how the map-makers lagged behind in their information, 
preferring to copy one another rather than to obtain new information from the 
skippers themselves. 

Hope island, discovered in 1613, probably by Marmaduke of Hull, and named 
by him after his own ship the Hopewell, is marked on the Muscovy Company's 
map (1625) and almost all later maps. The name has escaped change. 

Wiche Islands. 

This group of islands, vaguely and wrongly marked, evidently from hearsay 
only, on the Muscovy Company's map, were seen and named by the English 
in 1617, probably from the Lommeberg near Heley sound on Barents island. 

Smith's or North-East Land. 

The south point of this was sighted by the English in 1617, apparently from 
the same point and at the same time as Wiche islands. They named it Sir Thomas 
Smyth's Hand, and its south part is so marked on the Muscovy Company's map 
(1625). Blaeu (1662) gives the name Oostlandt to all the land east of Hin- 
lopen strait, and writes on it Hit zijn alte mael Eylanden. Valk and Schenk 
(1662) call this region Nieuw Vriesland, a name which Giles and Rep (c. 1710) 
transfer elsewhere. Doncker (1663) first marks Smith's Land with more distinct- 
ness, indicating its north and west coasts and separating it from the Seven islands. 
It is a little more decidedly indicated by him in a later map (after 1684), and 
similarly by Van Keulen (1689). Giles and Rep (c. 1710) are the first to 
represent it with approximate truth, and name it Het Noord Ooster Land. Zorg- 

3 66 


drager (1720) follows them. Martens (1671) knew as " the South-West Land " 
all the land east of Hinlopen strait. The old name Smith Land has been tenta- 
tively revived on late editions of the Admiralty chart. 

Even Giles and Hep's maps (1710) are very vague about names in this region, 
and those they give cannot always be identified with definite points. Still less 
can we be sure which were the points intended to be defined on the Muscovy 
Company's chart (1625) by the names Deicrovje's Desire (a cape), I. Purchas plus 
ultra (an island), and Point Purchas. Probably, as Hakluyt headland was the 
name given by the English to the extreme north-west point of Spitsbergen as 
a whole, Point Purchas was the extreme north-east point seen by them, and 
corresponds therefore to the North cape of Smith Land. Purchas plus ultra island 
will then be Low island, and Deicroive's Desire the modern Shoal point. 

The llluys haven marked by Giles and Kep (c. 1710) apparently corresponds 
with the North bay of the modern Murchison hay. 

The low promontory called Great Stone Land takes its name from the Groote 
steen marked by Giles and Eep apparently close to the Marble point of our charts. 
The west extremity of Great Stone land is mentioned by Martens (1671) as Shoal 
point. It is probably the old Deicrowe's Desire above referred to. 

Low island must be the Purchas plus ultra J. of the Muscovy Company's 
map (1625). It is H Lage eyl. of Giles and Eep (c. 1710). 

Brandyivine bay was well known to the old Dutch whalers, and doubtless 
occupied the position of Brandy bay on our charts. Doncker (1663) first marked 
it, and it is often found on later maps. Hoepstock bay came further on, according 
to Zorgdrager's text (1720) ; it will have been the Bird bay of modern charts. If 
named after Mathys Jansz. Hoepstock, a Dutch skipper who was in Spitsbergen 
in 1616, it must have been an early discovery. The whole of this coast, however, 
was probably visited long before the map-makers took notice of it. In 1618 an 
Enkhuizen skipper is said to have identified the Seven islands (Muller, N. Co., 
p. 180). Can this man have been Hoepstock ? 

Point Purchas was doubtless the North cape of Smith Land, or rather the north 
cape of an island just separated from Smith Land by a narrow strait. The Dutch, 
according to Muller (N. Co., p. 180), called it Cape Tabin, and in 1624 sent a ship 
to try and sail beyond it, but without success. Giles and Eep (c. 1710) name it 
Uyterste hoeh or Uyterste Land. Scoresby (1820) knew it as Black point. The 
name Point Purchas or Cape Tabin should be restored to it. 

If the Seven islands, as claimed, were seen in 1618, it was long before they 
appeared in any map. Doncker (1663) was the first to introduce them, and he was 
copied by Goos (1666) and others. Martens saw them in 1671, when they were 
well known. Doncker (after 1684) introduces confusion by marking, further north 
and separate from them, two larger islands, which he names Hooybergh and Taaff el- 
berg. We cannot now identify them. They recur on old maps after Doncker. 
Giles and Eep (c. 1710) were the first to put the Seven islands into approximately 
their right position, with Eooyberg and Tafelberg amongst them — the two west 
islands. They also mark Klip and AmbeeVt as others of the group. Phipps (1773) 
did something to improve the representation of the group, and added Walden 
island to the map. 

Vlak island, marked by Giles and Eep (c. 1710), seems to be the Scoresby I. of 
our charts. Their Beene Eyl, marked with an anchorage to the east, may be the 
modern Cape Platen. They also were the first to mark and name Outgar Bep 
island after one of themselves, and Walrus island, probably the Foyns O of 

List of Harbours 


Nathorst's map. Their Duyve (dove) hay, at the north-east corner of Smith Land, 
is not identifiable. 

Just off the north-east point of Smith Land, the modern Cape Leigh Smith, 
Giles, in 1707, discovered the island marked on his and Rep's map Een Groot hoog 
Eyland; and away to the east Giles sighted the large island which he proudly 
named Commandeur Giles Land, and of which he wrote on the Giles and Rep chart 
ontdekt 1 707 is hoog Land. 

Though he circumnavigated Smith Land, he named no other points except the 
south cape, which he called de Zuyd hoek, a name that has been well replaced in 
our own days by that of Cape Torell. 


[State papers, Domestic, Interregnum, vol. 179, January, February, 1658, No. 
11 (2).] 

The following list is annexed to a report of a discussion relative to whaling 
matters held in the Council of State on December 14, 1657 : — 

" The Names op the Severall Haebors in Greenland, and the Degrees of 


Point Looke Out being in the height of 
Hornesound and Mottle Bay 
Bell Sound and Bottle Cove 
Greenharbor and Port Nick 

Osbornes Inlett 

Fowle Sound 

Cove Comfortlesse 

Deere Sound 

Crosse Road 

Crooke Haven 

Knotty Point 

Maudlyn Sound 

Faire Haven 

Foxes Point, etc 


Sir Thomas Smith's Bay 

Pudding Bay to the eastwards 
Deicrowes Bay and others 

Duckes Cove 

Hunting Bay 

Potty Harbor 




Point Lookout is South cape. Mottle bay is a cove in the south side of Horn 
sound. Bottle cove (Willem van Muyen's haven) is identified from Pellham's 
" God's Power and Providence " as a cove open to the south-west in the north shore 
of Bell sound, outside Axel island. Port Nick is Safe haven. Osborne inlet is 



St. John's bay. Cove Comfortless is English bay. Fowl sound is Foreland sound. 
Deere sound is King's bay. Crookehaven may be Hamburger bay. Knotty point 
is a point between Hamburger bay and the South gat. Foxes point is Flat hook. 
Sir Thomas Smith's bay is the north end of Foreland sound. I cannot identify 
Pudding bay (in Wybe Jans water). Deicrowes bay is in Edge island; so is 
Duke's cove. Hunting bay is probably the Disco bay of modern charts in the west 
coast of Edge island. 


[The chronological list of recent voyages, the bibliography, cartography, and nomen- 
clature, at the end of the book, pp. 301-368, are not comprised in this Index, their 
arrangement being such as to facilitate reference to their contents.] 

Accident from a glacier calving, 125 
Advent Bay, see Adventure Bay 
Advent Point, Russian and Norwegian 

huts on, 260 
Adventure Bay, 202 
Agreement of 1614 between English and 

Dutch, 67 
Alabaster Hook, 173 
Aldborough whalers, 53, 63, 95, 101 
Aldert Dirkses Bay, Russian hut near, 

253, 261 
Amsterdam Island, 67, 68, 69, 95, 174, 

188-190, 213, 300, see Smeerenburg 
Amsterdam whalers, 49, 52, 57, 59, 65, 

74, 92, 94, 108, 133, 136, 185 
Amsterdam, Whalers' warehouses at, 168 
Andersen, Captain, suspected of murder 

in Spitsbergen, 270 
Anderson, Launcelot, of Hull, 161 note, 
199, 202 
— Thomas, of Hull, 131, 192 
Anderson Islands, Russian hut on, 259 
Andree Island, Russian hut on, 240, 259 
Andree's Balloon House, 182 
Annexation of Spitsbergen attempted by 

England, 65 
Arc of Meridian, Measurement of, on 

Spitsbergen, 290, 291 
Archipelago, 174 
Arctic Expeditions, Danish, 194 

— English, 278-283, 

287-289, 291-298 

— Russian, 263-265 
Art, Works of, representing the Dutch 

whale-fishery or Spitsbergen, 211, 289 
Ashe, Francis, Governor of the Green- 
land Company, 195 
Axel Island, 34, 37, 58, 142, 143, 198 
— Russian hut on, 260, 264 

Ayers, Thomas, whale-cutter, 148 note, 
150, 162, 163 

Bacstrom visits Spitsbergen and the 
Russian huts, 232, 238, 240, 249, 
Baffin, William, 51-53, 61-82 
Bar in Foreland Sound, 15, 46 
Barents' first voyage in 1594, 9 

second voyage in 1595, 10 
third voyage in 1596, 11 
Barents takes possession of Spitsbergen, 
winters at Ice Haven in Novaja 
Zemlja, 15 
Barents' record destroyed by Marmaduke, 

— death, 16 

— relics, 19 

Barents Island, 103, 207, 230 
Barker, Captain Andrew, 63 
Barkham (or Barcam), Cape, 102 
Barren, Cape, see Vogelsang 
Barrington, the Hon. Daines, 229, 238, 

277, 278 _ 
Barrow, Sir John, Secretary to the 

Admiralty, 287 
Bart, Jean, the corsair, 217, 218, 224 
Basque and French whalers, 35, 40, 42, 

43, 48, 52, 53, 58, 59, 60, 62, 69, 84, 

100, 107, 131, 132, 144, 166, 167, 183, 

202, 223 
Basques Bay, 171, 261 
Bastion of Wapping, Thomas, 50 
Batten of Yarmouth, 144, 145 
Battisz., Tennis, 129 
Bear hunt, Nelson's, 281 
— hunts, 12, 159, 160, 174, 208, 211, 
235, 257, 269, 298 
Bear's liver, Effect of eating, 159, 274 
Bears brought home alive, 184 
Bear skin, the largest recorded, 210 
Bear Island discovered and named, 11, 






Bear Island first seen by English and 

named Cherry Island by 

them, 20 

visited, 20, 21, 30, 31, 45, 46, 

48, 61, 63, 269, 272, 273, 288 

Beaufoy, Colonel, his "Enquiries," 250, 

Beechey, Lieutenant, 261, 289, 292 
Beere Bay, see Treurenberg Bay 
Behouden Haven, see Safe Haven 
Bell Point, 33, 148 

Bell Sound, 15, 28, 33, 36, 62, 66, 67, 68, 
84, 91, 97, 107-110, 125, 
128, 132, 138, 142, 147-164, 
190, 192, 193, 195-199, 202, 
203, 231, 300 
— Whalers' huts at, 84, 91, 92, 
108, 137, 142, 149, 151-164, 
203, 206 
Bussian huts in, 260, 264, 

265, 272 
the Bock in (Axel Island), 142 
Bennet, Stephen, voyages to Bear Island, 

20, 21, 43, 45 
Beverly Island, 297 
Beversham, James, 107 
Bird Island, 297 
Birds in Spitsbergen, 160 
Biscay privateers, 92, 183 
Biscay whalers, see Basque whalers 
Biscay whales, 38 

Biscayers Hook, see Welcome Point 
Black Point, 46 

Black Point on the Foreland, 147 
Black-point Isle (the Foreland) named, 34 
Block, Adriaen, 83 
Blubber tried out on board ship, 69 

— brought home for treatment, 186 
Bolschoy Brown, Bussian name for West 

Spitsbergen, 234 
Bonner, Thomas, 31, 52, 61, 63 
"Bonny Boat" brought from Spitsbergen 

to Hull, 63 
Bordeaux whalers, 53, 63 
Bottle Cove (see Van Muijen Cove), 142, 

143, 149, 151, 163, 192, 198 
Bowles Bay, see Goosehaven 
Braem, a Danish whaler, 128, 131, 134, 

166, 167 
Brandewyn Bay, 207, 294 
Bristol whalers, 41 

British Training Squadron visits Spits- 
bergen, 300 
Broad Bay, 73 
Brunei, Oliver, developes the Dutch 

White Sea trade, 9 
Buchan, Captain, 179, 268, 288, 289, 292 
Burrough's Expedition in 1556, 7 

"Carcass," H.M.S., 278-283 
Carleton, English Envoy at the Hague, 121 
Carlsen, Captain, circumnavigates Spits- 
bergen, 230 

Carolus, Joris, 74-81 

Caron, Sir Noel de, 131 

Castlins Point (Verlegen Hook), 72, 294 
— Russian hut on, 294 

Catcher, Captain, 126, 127, 132 

Catherine II of Russia sends an Arctic 
Expedition, 263-265 

Cave, William, 175, 176 

Chambers, Captain, 125 

Cherry, Sir Francis, 8, 20 

Cherry Island, see Bear Island 

Christiansbergen, Danish name for Spits- 
bergen, 134 

Christianshaffen, Danish name for Mauri- 
tius Bay, 134 

Cibourre sacked by Spaniards, 183 

Civil War, the English, its effect upon 
the whale-fishery, 191, 193 

Clavering, Captain, 290 

Close Cove (Cross Bay), 44, 45, 228 

— Russian hut in, 249, 261 
named, 34 

Cloven Cliff, 13, 71, 293 

Coal Haven in King's Bay, 26, 36, 261 

Cock, Cornells de, 94, 96-100, 112-120 

Cold, Cape, 63 

"Cold Yeare" 1614, 67 

Coles Park, 150 

Colledg, Richard, killed, 177 

Colledg, Thomas, imprisoned, 177 

Collins, Wm, 22, 25, 26 

Collins Cape, 25, 27, 28, 284-287 

Colonisation of Spitsbergen, Attempts at, 
104, 150, 170, 172 

Commons, House of, and the whale- 
fishery, 191, 192, 195-199 

Cookeries in Holland, 186, 188 

— in Spitsbergen, 44, 46, 48, 55, 

66, 68, 84-89, 94, 129, 135- 
138, 151, 152-164, 182, 188, 
189, 197, 208, 266, 289 
Cornelisz., Huybrecht, 94, 112-119 
Council of State and the whale-fishery, 

193, 194 
Cove Comfortless (English Bay), 45, 47, 
55, 68, 89 
Russian hut in, 261 
Cross Bay, see Close Cove 
Cross Road (Ebeltoft Haven), 36, 45, 
48, 67, 82, 101, 115, 192, 
198, 199 
Russian huts at, 261, 271 
— named, 35 

Crowe of Hammerfest, Vice-consul, 269, 

271, 272, 290, 293, 299 
Cudner, supercargo, 53, 95 
Cunningham, Sir John, 82, 105 

Danes Gat, see Middle Gat 
Danes Island, 68, 166, 182, 189 
Daniel, John, cartographer, 47, 49 
Danish scientific Arctic Expedition of 
1653, 194 



Danish whalers, 95, 124, 128, 131, 132, 
166-168, 182, 185, 218, 219, 222, 
Deadman Island, 179, 279 
Deadman Point, Eussian hut on, 260 
Deceit, Point, 73 
Deer Sound named, 34 

see King's Bay 
Deicrowe, or Decrow, Benjamin, 100, 

Deicrowe Sound, 78, 102, 250 

a Eussian outpost, 240 
Delft porcelain, Stone for it fetched from 
Spitsbergen, 173 note 

— whalers, 65, 80, 107, 133, 136, 185, 

Denmark's claims as to the whale- 
fishery, 42, 82, 83, 105, 128, 134, 168, 
Derelict whaler, a, 188 
De Veer, Gerrit, describes Barents' 

voyages, 10, 16, 30 
Dickson Bay, 260 
Digby, Lord, 122 
Disco, 129, 147 

Disco Bay, a Eussian outpost, 240 
Division of Spitsbergen bays between 

Dutch and English, 124, 167 
Dog, the Spitsbergen, 3, 254 
Doncker's Atlas, 201, 207, 208 
"Dorothea," H.M.S., 268, 288 
"Dragon," an armed ship, 96, 98-101, 

Duke's Cove, 103, 129 note 
Dun Islands, the, 260, 265, 270 
Dunkerque privateers, 139, 147, 183, 
— whalers, 53, 57, 62, 69, 91, 

Duppers, an English Interloper in 1608, 

Dupplin, Lord, protests against inter- 
ference with whalers employed by the 
Scotch, 145, 165 
Diirer, drawing of a walrus by, 31 

— travels to see a whale, 39 
Dusko, 129 note (see Disco Bay) 
Dutch and English maritime rivalry, 9, 

20, 49, 65 
Dutch Bay, see Mauritius Bay 
Dutch embassies about the whale-fishery, 
64, 122, 131 

— whaling charters and commissions, 

53, 106, 130, 171, 172, 175, 187 
Duynkercker, J. J., 167 

East India Company, 105 

Ebeltoft Haven, see Cross Eoad 

Eders Island, 37, 58 

Edge, Thomas, 30, 43, 45-52, 63, 66, 

83, 90, 91, 96, 97, 106-110, 115, 125, 

126, 127 
Edge Island, 207, 208, 271, 273 

Edge Island, discoveries about, 67, 78, 90, 
101-104, 128, 129, 131 
fisheries (see also Disco), 

66, 129, 146, 208, 224 
frequented by Eussian 
trappers, 234, 236, 240, 
Edwards, Nathaniel, soap-maker, 144, 

145, 175, 183 
Eider-down collected at Spitsbergen, 269, 

Ekman Bay, 260 

Elesmere Bay, Lord (Sardam Bay), 58 note 
Empressment, Spitsbergen sailors exempt 

from, 182, 193, 199 
English Bay,s^e Fairhaven( south harbour) 

see Cove Comfortless 
English Cove, see Trinity Harbour 
Engroneland, 3, 83 
Enkhuizen whalers, 52, 61, 65, 74, 80, 

106, 108-116, 136 
Everest, Dr, 250, 273 

Fair Foreland, see Vogelhoek 
Fairhaven, explored by Barents, 13, 14 

— surveyed by Fotherby, 71 
surveyed by Buchan, 289 
meaning of the name, 67 
the modern harbour under 

Vogelsang, 279, 289, 290 
Eussian huts at, 240, 249, 

261, 266, 272 
the north or Dutch harbour 
(Smeerenburg), 67, 68, 73, 
75, 76, 84, 89, 91, 107, 
the south or English harbour, 
66, 67, 68, 73, 84, 89, 107, 
125, 127, 128, 130, 132, 
133, 170, 189, 219 

— abandoned by the English, 

138, 170 
Fallengriin, a Norwegian hunter, 269, 271 
Fanne, Nathaniel, 132, 133 
Fight between Dutch and English in 

Horn Sound, 117 
Fight between London and Yarmouth 

whalers, 175 
Fletcher of Aldborough, 53, 63 
Floyd, Midshipman, 279 
Flushing whalers, 94-101, 107, 126, 136 
Foreland, Prince Charles, 23, 28, 34, 36, 

46, 50, 54, 147, 213, 278 
Foreland, Prince Charles, Eussian huts 

on, 248, 260, 266 
Foreland Sound, 14, 23, 24, 34, 44, 46, 

50, 55 
Foster, Lieutenant, 292, 293, 297 
Foster Islands, 297 

Fotherby, Eobert, 50-60, 66-79, 82-85 
Foul Bay, see Fowl Bay 
Fowl Bay (Zeeland Bay), 77, 173 
Fowle Sound, see Foreland Sound 



Fox Glacier, 56 

Fox Nose in Foreland Sound, 113 
Franklin, Lieut. John, 268, 288, 292 
Freeman, Alderman Ralph, 127 
Freeman Inlet, Alderman, 102 
French frigates in Spitsbergen waters, 
215, 218-223, 284 

— whaling companies, 128, 166, 187, 


— whalers {see also Basque whalers), 

194, 198, 199, 202, 208 
Friesland whalers, 171, 172, 182, 201 
Frost-bite, Remedy for, 216 

Geese, Bernaele, discovery of their nesting 

places, 13 
Generaels Hoeck (S. Cape), 78 
Gerrits, Hessel, 31, 51. 55, 63, 64, 

78, 83 
Giles, Captain Cornelis, Voyage in 1707, 

207, 228-231 
Giles and Rep's Chart, 230, 294, 297, 

Giles Land, 229-231 
Ginevra Bay, 102 
Glacier expeditions, 56 
Golf, 16 
Goodlad or Goodlard, Captain William, 

127, 132, 143, 146, 163, 175-177 
Goosehaven (Bowles Bay) in Horn Sound, 

61, 175 
Gotha Cove, 103 

Russian outpost in, 240 
Gottenburg whalers, 232 
Gouwenaer, Captain Jacob de, 74 
Gouwenaers Bay in Jan Mayen, 79 
Green Harbour, 49, 57, 63, 91, 132, 
138, 147, 148, 150, 192, 
195, 198, 199, 231, 273, 
Russian and Norwegian 
huts in, 260, 272, 273 
named, 36 
Greenland, the name applied to Spits- 
bergen, 83 
Company, successors to the 
whaling rights of the 
Muscovy Company, 127, 
131, 138, 140, 142, 143, 
144, 164, 165, 166, 175, 
177, 182, 184, 192-199, 202 
Grey, Mr, 147, 203 
Grey Hook, 50, 72, 265, 289 
"Griper," H.M.S., 290 
Groote Vogel Bay, see Fowl Bay 
Grooten Inwyck, 15, 23 
Grotius, Hugo, 52, 64, 83 
Gijsen, Pieter, 137 

Haarlem, Cookery of, 182 note 
Hakluyt Headland, 69, 70 

— named, 27 

Halfmoon Island, 78, 129 

Hamburg whalers, 187, 213, 219, 222, 

225, 226, 231, 290 
Hamburg, Train-oil cookery at, 188 
Hamburger Bay, 187, 261 

— Russian trappers in, 

261, 268 
Hamkes, Captain Gale, 185 
Harlingen, the cookery of, 182, 189 
Harlingen whalers, 172, 182, 185 
Hammerfest sloops, 269-274 
Hawes, Andrew, 144, 145 
"Heartsease," Marmaduke's ship, 31 
"Hecla," H.M.S., 291-298 
Hecla Cove, 294, 295, 297, 298 
Heemskerk, captain of Barents' ship in 

1596, 10, 11 
Heley, William, 95, 96, 98-101, 107-119, 

125, 126, 127, 128, 132 
Heley Sound, 102, 103, 207, 230 
Herod's Daughters, 242 
Heuglin, M. Th. von, 259, 260 
Himkof, Alexis and Ivan, Russian trap- 
pers, cast away on East Spitsbergen, 
Hinlopen, Hinloopen, or Hindeloopen 
Strait, 147, 188, 207, 
214, 216, 223, 230 
— surveyed, 297 

Hoarth, a whaling adventurer, 145, 166, 

175, 177, 183, 198, 199 
Hofer Point, Russian hut on, 260 
Hold-with-Hope in Greenland, 45 
Hollandsche Bay, see Mauritius Bay 
Honig, Mr G. J., 209, 210, 223, 224 
Hoorn whalers, 53, 65, 80, 106, 108-121, 

136, 186 
Hope Island, 101, 208, 250 

discovered, 62, 103, 131 
"Hopewell," Hudson's ship, 23, 30, 50 
— Marmaduke's ship, 46, 50 

Horn Sound, 61, 62, 67, 84, 97, 125, 126, 
132, 138, 192, 193, 195, 
198, 199, 201 

— discovered and named, 33 
Russian huts in, 260, 269 

— Tragedy in, 270 
Whalers' huts at, 111, 138, 


Houcker Bay (Virgo Bay), 182 

Hudson's Touches (Jan Mayen Island) 
discovered and named, 30 

Hudson's voyage in 1607, 22-30 

Hull, Trinity House, 63 

Hull soap-makers, 140 

Hull whalers and walrus hunters, 30, 31, 
32, 41, 45, 50, 63, 98, 129, 131, 142, 
143, 145, 151, 161, 165, 185, 192, 194, 

Hull whalers destroy the London settle- 
ment in Bell Sound, 142, 143 

Hull whalers' stations in Spitsbergen, 142 

Hyperite Island in Hinlopen Strait, 
Russian hut on, 261 



Ice Bay, a name for Recherche Bay, 125, 

126, 132 
Ice Point, 37 
Ice Sound, 15, 22, 23, 34, 36, 57, 67, 84, 

138, 147, 195, 198, 300 
Iceland, Whaling off, 41, 166, 167 
Icy season, the most icy on record, 208 
Indraught, the Great, 23 
Interlopers, Dutch, 8. 49, 52, 53 

English, 30, 31, 43, 45, 50, 
53, 63, 95, 97, 107, 112, 
144, 145, 175 
Inwyck, 15 

Isbiorn Haven, Russian hut in, 260 
Isbuschka, see Russian trappers' huts 

James I, 51, 53, 63, 70, 82, 115, 122, 131, 

Jan Mayen Island discovered, 29, 32, 79, 
Cookeries at, 92, 167, 169 
Dutch settlement pillaged by 

Basques, 167 
whale-fishery, 84, 91, 92, 93, 

94, 95, 106, 108, 135, 167 
Wintering at, 170, 172 
Jan Meys Hoeck in Jan Mayen, 79 
Johnson, Captain, 106 
Joseph, Benjamin, 52, 61, 66, 67, 83, 110 
Joseph Bay (Recherche Bay), 56, 58 

Keerenskaar, a shoal, 186 
Keerwyck, 15 

Kees, Captain Jonge, 209, 210, 216 
— Captain Cusve, his adventure on 
one of the Seven Icebergs, 200, 
209, 212, 216 
Keilhau, Prof. B. M., 250, 259, 260, 261, 

268, 270, 272, 273, 298, 299 
Keilhau Bay, Russian huts at, 238, 246, 

250-253, 276 
Eijn, Dutch supercargo, 50 
Kijunaes, 50 

King Carl's Land (Wiche Islands), 103 
King John Glacier, 129 
King's Bay, 25, 26, 28, 34, 36, 44, 138, 
192, 299 
Russian huts in, 249, 261, 
266, 268 
Klaas Bille Bay in Ice Sound, 215 
Klaasz. Bille, Captain Cornells, 215 
Klok Bay, see Bell Sound 
Knotty Point, 34 
Kobbe Bay, see Robbe Bay 
Kiihn's visit to Spitsbergen, 231 

Laing, Surgeon John, 268, 284 

Lammas Island, 29 

Lamont, James, 208, 246, 252, 259, 276, 

La Rochelle whalers, 53, 63 
Laud, Archbishop, 177 
Lead discovered on Bear Island, 31 

Lee, Cape, a Russian outpost, 240 

Lee Foreland, 102 

Legends connected with Spitsbergen, 3, 

242-245, 254 
Leonin, a Spanish naturalist, 184, 225 
Le Koy, P. L., his book on the adventures 

of the four Russian sailors, 237 
Leversttin, Abraham Dz., 109, 110, 111, 

Liefde Bay, see Wiche Sound 
Little Table Island, 294, 295 
Lodjes, Russian vessels called, 238, 261, 

275, 276 
Log-books, origin of, 7 
Lomme Bay, 207 
Lommeberg, 207 

Loven, Prof. Sven, 273, 299, 300 
Low Island, 280, 295, 297 
Low Ness, 34, 260 
Low Sound, 37, 50, 58, 143, 260 

— named, 34 

Lowenigh, Herr von, visits Spitsbergen, 

Lutwidge, Commander, 278, 281, 282, 

Lynn whalers, 144 

Magdalena Bay, 69, 91, 138, 167, 170, 
171, 228, 231, 232, 279, 
288, 300 
discovered, 14 
Russian hut in, 261 
Mail boat of the English at Spitsbergen, 

Makkelyk Oud, 228 
Maleperdus, Mount, named, 21 
Maloy Brown, Russian name for Edge 

Island, 234 
" Mauche, La," French cruiser, visits 

Spitsbergen, 300 
Mandt, M. W., visits Spitsbergen in 1821, 

Marimuts Bay at Jan Mayen, 92 
Marmaduke, Thomas, 31, 32, 45, 46, 47, 

50, 52, 61, 62, 66, 71, 72, 78, 79, 97, 

101-103, 126, 129, 192 
Marmier, Xavier, 274 
Marooning on Spitsbergen, 275 
Marri met de Brosten Mount, 214, 228 
Martens, F., 137, 179, 188-190. 213, 214, 

225, 232, 276 
Martenszoon, Arend, 11 
Martin, A. R., visits Spitsbergen, 231 
Mason, Captain, 132, 147 note, 163 
Matsyn, 78, 102 
Mauritius or Dutch Bay (Fairhaven), 68, 

94, 124, 126, 131, 134, 187, 228, 266- 

Mauritius Island, see Jan Mayen Island 
May, Captain J. Jz., 74 
Maydens Pappes, a hill on the Foreland, 

Mazarin, Cardinal, protects whalers, 187 




Merchant Adventurers, the Company of, 

6, 7 
Merchant Tailors Hall, 122 
Mettle Bay (in Horn Sound), 192, 198 
Mezen, Trappers from, 233, 234, 238 
" Michael de Aristega," a ship or captain 

of St Jean de Luz, 59, 62 
Middelburg whalers, 94, 107, 114, 136 
Middelhoven's Map, 171 
Middle Gat, West Bay, South Bay, or 

Danes Gat, 173, 174, 186, 189, 227 
Misery, Mount, named, 21 
Mitra Hook or Mitre Cape, see Collins 

Moffen Island, 231, 279, 280 
Mohn, Cape, 104 
Monier, Anthoni, 66, 67, 76, 77 
Monier Bay, see Bed-cliff Sound 
Morfyn, see Matsyn 
Mossel Bay, 293, 295 

Bussian hut in, 261 
Moucheron, Balthasar, 9 
Muscovy Company, 7, 8, 20, 21, 32, 33, 
37, 42, 43, 48, 49, 
51, 52, 53, 63, 64, 
65, 70, 82, 83, 91, 
105, 127, 150 
see Greenland Com- 
Muscovy Company's claim for damages, 

111, 119, 141, 194 
Muscovy Company sells its whaling rights 

in 1620 to a new corporation, 127 
Muscovy Company's Mount, 33 

Narwhal tusk, 89, 90 

Nathorst, Dr, 231 

Navy, the British, 8, 141, 199 

state of, in 1618, 122 
Negro Point, 78 
Nelson, Horatio, in Spitsbergen waters, 

Nemtinof, Lieut. Michael, 264 
Newfoundland, Whaling off, 41 
Newland, a name for Spitsbergen, 22, 

25, 27, 28, 70, 83, 130, 166 
Niches Cove, see Safe Haven 
Noordsche Company, the Dutch, 50, 65, 

80, 83, 84, 92, 94, 106, 129, 130, 167- 

172, 182, 185, 187, 191 
Noordsche Company's warehouses at 

Amsterdam, 168 
Nordenskiold, 45, 291, 294, 299 
North, Thomas, 193 
North Bank, 186 

— East Land, see Smith Island 

— Gat or North Bay, 167, 173, 186, 

Norway Islands (Zeeusche Uytkyk), 13, 

67, 94, 227, 279, 289, 290 
Norwegian hunters, 246, 247, 2W, 261, 

268-275, 290, 291 

Norwegian sailors, Adventures of four, 

Novaja Zemlja, 10, 15, 18, 102, 129, 130, 
195, 226, 238, 269 

— discovered, 6, 102 

Observatory Hill, 265, 300 
Oostsanan, Train-oil cookeries at, 188 
Osborne, John, of Worcester, invents . 

new use for whalebone, 140 
Osborne Inlet, Bussian hut in, 261 
Ouwers, a Spanish spy, 141 

P. P. v. S., his book, 208, 211, 215, 216 

Panorama of the north coast, 289 

Parrot Hook, 217 

Parry's Expedition, 250, 289, 291-298 

Partition, Point, 34, 37 

Pellham, Edward, his wintering and 
journal, 146-164, 170 

Perkins, B., 142, 143 

Pet and Jackman's Expedition in 1580, 7 

Peter the Great, 227 

Peterhead whalers, 293 

Peterson, Captain Adriaen, 112-120, 127 

Peyrere, Isaac de la, his Relation du 
Groenlande, 184 

Phipps, Hon. Constantine John (after- 
wards Lord Mulgrave), his Arctic Ex- 
pedition, 278-2 S3, 289, 297 

Phipps Island, 281 

Pike, Arnold, his wintering hut, 182 

— visits Giles Land, 230 
Pindar, Sir Paul, his great diamond, 140 
Playse, John, 22, 24, 26, 30 
Plymouth soap-makers, 140 

Poole, Jonas, 21, 30, 31, 33, 43, 44, 45, 
46, 47, 48, 50 
— Bandolph, 47 
Poopy Bay, see Safe Haven 
Port Louis, see Basques Bay 

— Nick, see Safe Haven 

— St Pierre, see Bobbe Bay 
Possession, Ceremony of taking, 70 
Prestwood, Laurence, 50, 72 

— B., 142, 143 
Privateers, see. Biscay and Dunkerque 
Privy Council and Spitsbergen, 143, 165, 

175, 177, 183 
Pym, Mr, Member of Parliament, 177 

Quade Hook, Bussian hut on, 247, 261 
Quast, H. Gz., 66 

Babot, Monsieur Charles, 300 
"Bacehorse," H.M.S., 278-283 
Bain in winter in Spitsbergen, 237 
Bape seed, the price of, 208, 212 
Eaven, Dirck Albertsz., of Hoorn, his 

Journal, 137, 185 
"Becherche, La," French cruiser, visits 

to Spitsbergen, 299, 300 



Recherche Bay (Joseph Bay, Schoonhoven, 
Ice Bay)', 56, 58, 89, 125, 
126, 142, 149-164, 192, 
198, 225, 299, see also 
Bell Sound 
Russian huts in, 260, 264, 

becomes the chief English 
settlement in 1621, 128 
Red Beach, 50, 69, 71, 73, 174, 293, 298 
Redbeach Point, 279 
Red-cliff Sound, Red Bay, or Monier 
Bay, 13, 69, 71, 73, 
76, 173 
Russian huts in, 246, 
261, 276 
Refuge Francais, see Basques Bay 
Reindeer as draught animals, 2j3 

brought home alive, 63, 207 
hunted, 54, 56, 148, 150, 174, 
200, 231, 235, 241, 256, 269, 
271, 280, 289, 298 
— killed as a sacrifice, 4 
Rep, Captain Outger, 230 
Richelieu, Cardinal, patron of whalers, 

Riemsdyk, Jhr. B. W. F. van, 211 
Rimbow Point, 276 

Robbe Bay occupied by Danes and Basques, 
136, 166, 167, 170, 289 
Russian huts in, 261 
Rochester, Lord, 61 
Roos, Cape, Russian hut on, 261 
Ross, Lieut., 293, 294, 295 
Ross Island, 297 
Rotge or Roche Hill in Magdalena Bay, 

Attempts to climb, 232, 288 
Rotterdam, Train-oil cookeries at, 188 
Rotterdam whalers, 65, 106, 109, 136, 

Royal Society's Enquiries about Spits- 
bergen, 203, 214, 277, 278, 292 
Russekeilen in Green Harbour, 260 
Russell, Captain John, 48 
Russia Company, see Muscovy Company 
Russian Government settlement in Bell 

Sound, 264 
Russian sailors, Adventures of four, 

1743-1749, 234-237 
Russian trappers in Spitsbergen, 226, 
beginning of the in- 
dustry, 233 
their deaths, 244, 259 
huts in Spitsbergen, 
233, 2? 8, 240, 246- 

253, 259-261, 264- 
270, 294 

— organisation of their 

industry, 239-243, 

254, 255-259, 267 
how paid, 238 

Ryk Yse Islands, 103, 186, 207, 208 

Ryp, Jan Cz., accompanies Barents in 
1596, 11, disputes with Barents, 15, 
carries home survivors of Barents' crew, 

Ryss Islands, Russian hut on, 261, 276 

Sabine, Sir Edward, 290, 291 
Saddle, the, see Cloven Cliff 
Safe Haven, 36, 57, 58, 95, 175 
St Jean de Luz sacked by Spaniards, 183 
— whalers, 53, 57, 58, 59, 

62, 131 
St John's Bay, see Osborne Inlet 
St Lawrence, Whaling off the mouth of 

the, 41 
St Lawrence Bay, see Red-cliff Sound 
Salaet Hills on Amsterdam Island, 174 
Sallowes, Allen, 4'.), 53, 63 
Salmon, Captain, 111-121, 126, 128 
San Sebastian whalers, 49, 53, 57, 62 
Saute, G. Van, his records of the whale- 
fishery, 223 
Sardam (Van Keulen) Bay, 33, 37, 58, 

Schoonhoven (Recherche Bay), 58, 89 
Schrobop, J. Jz., 91 
Scientific Exploration of Spitsbergen, 

Scoresby, William, 247, 248, 259, 261, 

268, 283-287 
Scotch Patent for Spitsbergen whaling, 

105, 142, 144, 145, 175 
Scurvy, 241-248, 252, 265, 266, 272, 275, 

Scurvy grass, 174, 179, 236 
Seal-hunting, 266, 269 
Settlement in 1619 between English and 

Dutch as to Spitsbergen whaling, 122, 

Seven Icebergs, Expeditions on, 200 
Seven Islands, the, 139, 207, 214, 229, 

281, 294 
Sherwin, Thomas, 66, 109, 112, 115 
Shetlands, Rendezvous of the Dutch fleet 

at the, 66 
Sinclair, Sir Andrew, 105 
Sledging on the ice-pack, 291, 295, 296 
Smeerenburg, site appropriated in 1614, 
founded, 95 

— Buildings at, 133, 136, 137, 

168, 172-174, 178, 180, 
186, 189, 231 

— Danes at, 124, 131, 132, 

136, 166 
Fort at, 136, 137 note, 

Frequentation of, 124, 127, 

182, 186, 187, 213, 216 
Manner of life at, 135-138, 

Monument to Dutch whalers 

set up at, 179 



Smeerenburg, Decline of, 187-190 
Smith, Sir Thomas, Governor of the 

Muscovy Company, 33, 61, 102, 119 

Smith Bay, Sir Thomas (Foreland Sound), 

44, 54, 57, 58, 62, 63, 67, 

84, 107, 111-121, 125, 128, 

132, 138, 146, 192, 198, 199 

Huts at, 125, 138 

Smith Inlet, Sir Thomas (Wijde Bay), 

72, 207 
Smith Islands, Sir Thomas, 102 
Smith Land, Sir Thomas (North East 
Laud), 104, 188, 207 
Russian huts on. 261 
circumnavigated, 229, 230 
Soap Patent obtained by Sir J. Bour- 
chier, 140 
of 1631 for a new process, 
Soap-making, 139, 144, 165, 178, 184 

the " Sopers of West- 
minster," 183, 184 
Soccoa sacked by Spaniards, 183 
Solovetskoy on the White Sea, Convent 
of, and its relation to the Russian 
trappers, 239, 262, 273 
Sorge Bay, see Treurenberg Bay 
South Cape, Russian huts at the, 250, 

259, 268, 269, 274 
South Gat, see Fairhaven (south harbour) 
Spitsbergen circumnavigated, 230, 231 
discovered, 12 
named, 14 
Stans Foreland, see Stone Foreland 
Staraschtchin, the Russian trapper, 260, 
Mount, 29 
Stavoren whalers, 172 
Stone Foreland, 102 
Strowd, George, 127 
Stuer, Captain, 270, 271 
Swedish whalers, 226 

Tabin, Cape, 139 

Tas, William, 138 

"Tents" of the whalers on Spitsbergen, 

68, 85, 136, 151, 206 
Thousand Islands, the, 79, 208, 240, 

250, 274 
"Tiger," the armed ship, 52, 57, 58, 59, 

61, 63 
Tobiesen, Captain, sights Giles Land, 230 
Tollens' poem on Barents' 3rd voyage, 18 
Torrell, Dr, 299 

Train-oil smuggled into England, 127, 
140, 144, 184, 202 
— Uses of, 139, 178 
"Trent," H.M.S., 268, 288 
Treurenberg Bay, 207, 217, 220, 223, 
294, 295, 297, 298 
Fi^ht in, between 
French and Dutch, 

Trinity Harbour, 70 

Trinity Island, see Jan Mayen Island 

Troubles at Spitsbergen in 1613, 51 

— 1617, 94-104 

— 1618, 106-122 
Tschitschagof, Captain, his Arctic Ex- 
peditions, 263-265, 283 

Tusk Bay, see Magdalena Bay 

Unicorn Bay, 207 
Unicorn's horn, see Narwhal 

Van der Brugge, 136, 172-175 

Van Keulen, Gerard, map publisher, 229, 

Van Keulen Bay, see Sardam Bay 
Van Keulen Cove, 37, 59 
Van Linschoten's voyages, 10 
Van Muijden (or Muijen), Captain 

Willem, 49, 52, 53, 57, 59, 60 
Van Muijen (or Muijden) Haven, or 

Bottle Cove, 58, 142, 143 
Varden, James, 82 
Veere whalers, 94, 136 
Verelle, Captain Jan, 94-100 
Verlegen Hook, see Castlins Point 
Virgo Bay, see Houcker Bay 
Vogelhoek or Fair Foreland, 22, 25, 34, 
55, 57 
— named, 15 
Vogelsang Island, 13, 67, 71, 279, 289 
Vrolicq, Jean, 79, 166, 167, 170, 171, 187 

Walden, Midshipman, 282 

Walden Island, 272, 282, 291, 294, 295, 297 

Walrus brought home alive, 30 

Walrus hunting, 21, 35, 45, 46, 61, 90, 

101, 231, 238, 260, 269, 272 
Warner, Richard, of Hull, 131, 194 
Wars, Effect of,, on the whale-fishery, 
191, 193, 194, 199, 201, 208, 215, 217, 
218, 225 
Waygats, see Hinlopen Strait 
Wedrlel, John, alias Duke, 95 
Welcome Point (Biscayers Hook), 69, 72, 
73, 76, 83, 84 
Russian hut on, 261, 276 
Whale, the first killed in Spitsbergen, 48 
Whalebone, 38 

picked up, 34, 36, 37, 71 

Osborne's invention with, 140 

Whale-fishery in Spitsbergen bays, 43, 44, 

48, 51 et seq., 55 et seq., 

85-89, 135, 163, 186-188, 

196, 203-206 

Decline of the Dutch, 232 

Decline of the English, 

200, 203, 212, 225 
the Dutch, lists and sta- 
tistics of, 223, 224, 226 
— Negotiations about, 82, 105, 

122, 133, 138, 141, 167, 
168, 171, 193-199 



Whale fishing in the open sea, 183, 185, 

186, 191, 198, 200 
Whale Head in Bell Sound, 142, 143 
Whales Point (Edge Island), Kussian 

huts at, 238, 246, 250-253 
Whales, habits of, 147, 196, 214, 227 

— kinds of, 38 

— multitude observed near Spits- 

bergen, 25, 30, 35, 37 

— frightened away from Spits- 

bergen coast, 125, 186-188, 200 

— stranded, 39 

— White, 212, 234, 255, 257, 260, 

Whales Bay (King's Bay), 25, 26, 28, 
44, 45, 66 

— Point in Edge Island, 78, 208 
Whaling, Early history of, 40 
Whitby whalers, 247, 284 

White Island, see Giles Land 

— Sea Fishing Company, 239 

— Sea trade, 7, 8, 9, 17, 20, 274, 

and see Russian trappers 
Whitwell, a Hull whaling adventurer, 

194, 199, 202 
Wiche, Richard, 104 
Wiche Islands, 101, 104 
Wiche Sound (Liefde Bay), 71, 72, 207 
frequented by Russian 
trappers, 26l 
Wilkinson, Thomas, 175 
Willoughbv's Expedition in 1553, 6, 83, 

Winter night in Spitsbergen, 157, 174 
Wintering, the first, in Spitsbergen, 
— at Smeerenburg, 170, 172- 

175, 178, 179 
Winterings by Norwegian hunters, 272, 
273, 274 

Winterings by Russian trappers, 235, 
241, 246, 247, 255, 256, 264, 265, 266, 
268, 269, 272, 274, 276 
Witt, Admiral De, escorts the Dutch 

whaling fleet, 199 
Woodcock, Nicholas, 33, 43, 46, 49, 112 
Worcester Point, Lord, 98 
Wrecks, 45, 46, 130, 185, 193, 208, 215, 

217, 266, 275 
Wright, Nathaniel, 145, 165, 166 

— enlists Biscay whalers, 

Wybe Jans Water, 101, 103, 172, 230, 

250, 259 
Wybe Jansz. of Stavoren, 172 
Wyde Bay (Sir Thomas Smith Inlet), 
72, 73, 295 
Russian hut in, 253, 261, 

Yarmouth whalers, 144, 145, 175, 177, 

192, 194 
York soap-makers, 142, 143, 185, 192 
Ys, Cornells Pz., 131, 133, 170 
Ys, William, 129 

Zaandam Bay, see Sardam Bay 

whalers and walrus hunters, 
52, 58, 62, 65, 136, 137, 183, 
186, 224, 225 
— Sham whale-fishing at, for 
Peter the Great, 227 
Zeeland Bay, see Fowl Bay 

— whalers, 94, 96-101, 105, 112- 

120, 138, 289 

Zeeusche Uytkyk, 94, 188, 227, 279, 289 

Ziegler Island, a whalers' settlement, 208 

— Russian huts on, 240, 259 

Zorgdrager, C. G., 91, 92, 129, 135, 147, 

173, 182, 188, 214, 225, 227, 228, 234 



Climbers' Guide to the Pennine Alps, 2 vols., London, 1890, 

1891, and other Alpine Climbers' Guides. 

Climbing and Exploration in the Karakoram-Himalayas ; 

London, 1894. 

The Alps from End to End; London, 1895. 

The First Crossing of Spitsbergen ; London, 1896. 

With Ski and Sledge over Arctic Glaciers; London, 1898. 

The Bolivian Andes; London, 1901. 

Aconcagua and Tierra del Puego; London, 1902. 

The Alps; London, 1904. 

Early Dutch and English Voyages to Spitsbergen ; London 

(Hakluyt Society), 1904.